Congress may not have declared war, but that doesn’t mean Americans aren’t left to defend their homes, farms and ranches as they face attack from deadly enemies intent on wiping them out of existence.

In Starr County, Texas more than 8,000 farms and ranches with only the Rio Grande separating them from Mexico and the men and women whose families have owned the land for generations are facing the choice of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels and human traffickers or being forced off their own land.

These are same gangs blamed for thousands of deaths stemming from their drug smuggling and human trafficking operations.

It’s a war, make no mistake about it,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. “And it’s happening on American soil. Farmers and ranchers are being run off their own property by armed terrorists showing up and telling them they have to leave their land.”

The threat is real and it isn’t just a local or personal matter.

The gangs are threatening not only the private ownership rights of the families who have owned and operated them for generations, but the nation’s food supply.

Whether the liberal blue state voters on the fringe of the continent on the east and west coasts want to admit it, these Texas families produce more cotton and cattle than any other state providing the fabrics and meat Americans – even those in Hollywood and on Park Avenue – want and need.

This region of Texas produces more cotton and cattle than anywhere else in the U.S. – 27 million pounds of cotton and 250 pounds of beef each year.

U.S. Border Agents lacked the financial and moral support they needed to do the job during the Obama administration, and in 2016, gave their first endorsement in a presidential election to political outsider Donald Trump sensing that he meant what he said about enforcing immigration laws and securing the border by building “The Wall.”

And President Trump repaid that faith with one of his first Executive Orders requesting bids on the construction of the physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border, strict enforcement of existing immigration laws, increased numbers of border agents and even transfer of judges to the border region to expedite the deportation of illegals.

One farmer who did not allow his face to be shown during a television interview because he fears retaliation from the drug and smuggling cartels says the gang activity is high and it is not unusual for them to find dead bodies on their land.

“We’ve had dead bodies show up from time to time, it’s pretty disturbing. But it’s something we’ve learned to live with,” he said.

“We’re very vigilant and we realize that a lot of the people coming through are gang members, criminals, and with that we’ve got dogs to alert us here on the ranch. My wife, in particular, depends on the dogs, especially when I’m not here,” he said.

Vickers said he’s seen a number of those who didn’t make it One unidentified farmer said he looks the other way, “I see something, I just drive away,” he said. “It is a problem, I’ve learned to live with it and pretty much, I’ve become numb to it.”

But another finally called it quits and sold the farm that had been in the family for a century. “It’s really sad to say, you either have to beat ‘em or join ‘em and I decided not to do either.”

But a new era has begun in faraway Washington D.C. and many of the farmers and ranchers have the same faith in President Donald Trump as the border agents, despite Starr County’s long history of voting Democrat.

Things are about to change.

 
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