Texas bill would give unused COVID funds to farmers to pay for migrant damages

A Texas congressman has introduced a bill with bipartisan backing to help farmers and ranchers on the border deal with vandalism and property damage from illegal immigration.

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) is the main sponsor of the bill, which calls for a new fund to be set up using $300 million in unspent COVID rescue dollars to reimburse farmers and ranchers on the front lines of the border crisis for the vandalism and damage they’re continually experiencing.

The legislation would funnel the $300 million into a new fund to pay farmers for damages from illegal immigration, including livestock loss, crop loss and damage, perimeter fence replacements, damages to physical structures and property loss.

Trash left on a ranch in Texas by migrants who crossed the border from Mexico.
Trash left on a ranch in Texas by migrants who crossed the border from Mexico.
Texas Farm Bureau
A damaged fence at a ranch in Texas.
A damaged fence at a ranch in Texas.
Texas Farm Bureau
Property damage at a ranch in Texas near the border.
Texas Farm Bureau
Fallen trees at a Texas ranch.
Texas Farm Bureau

Ranchers are forced to patrol their fences for breaks 24-7 and quickly repair them to ensure their livestock can’t escape onto the highway, threatening motorists, Brent Smith, the county attorney for Kinney, Texas, told Fox News. It’s a daily struggle impacting the ranchers and their finances, he said.

“Texans should not be responsible for the losses at the hands of the Biden border crisis and are entitled to reimbursement for the damages they have sustained,” Rep. Vicente Gonzales (D-Texas), another sponsor of the bill told Fox News.

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