Ranchers In Texas Have Publicly Rejected Aid From The Biden Administration For Damages Caused By The Surge Of Migrants

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It was recently reported by Newsmax that Texas ranchers are turning down the Biden administration for money covering damages caused by the surge of migrants at the southern border, the Washington Examiner reported.

The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, under its Environmental Quality Incentive Program, last week began allowing farmers and ranchers to claim reimbursements for more than two dozen types of costs sustained, the Examiner reported.

The program covers such things as fencing repairs, livestock fatalities, irrigation, and crop planting.

Some Texans, however, are fearful the financial aid will come with strings attached.

“It looks good on paper. It looks good in the media,” rancher John Paul Schuster told the Examiner. “But in reality, it’s not servicing us right now.”

Five of six ranchers in Kinney and Val Verde counties contacted by the Examiner said they did not plan to apply for reimbursement.

“We don’t want anything from the government. There’s going to be strings attached,” Ann Hodge, who, with her husband, owns a multigenerational ranch in Del Rio, Texas, told the Examiner.

“You never know when they’re going to try and say they might need that money back now and have the power to take it away from us.”

The program runs through July 5. The service did not disclose how much funding it will make available.

“I don’t have high hopes we’re going to get money or that it’s going to work because of the way they’ve worded it,” professional outfitter Page Day told the Examiner. “I almost want to say it’s a political stunt by the government to say, ‘Look, we are helping the ranchers.'”

Day, who hosts hunters on guided expeditions on his 20,000 acres outside Del Rio, Texas, said he has spent up to $60,000 on repairs during the past year.

Schuster and his wife Donna have made many repairs to their fences, and lost long-term water supplies due to the trespassing migrants.

But because the Schusters paid out of pocket to repair their fence every time it was cut in 2021, they are ineligible for reimbursement now. The program only applies to unrepaired damages.

Donna Schuster also told the Examiner that she and her husband have lost their peace of mind as the border fell out of control in the Del Rio area, where in January more illegal immigrants were stopped by law enforcement than any other border section.

Late Wednesday evening, John Paul Schuster told the Examiner that state troopers had just called to alert him and his wife that they were chasing eight men on their property.

“[Texas Department of Public Safety] called me and said foot chase headed towards your house. So we turned off all the TV and one light wife had on in bedroom.

She went to bed — I am sitting still in recliner with dog and pistol by my side,” John Paul Schuster wrote the Examiner.

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