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So What's It Like To Live On The Mexican Border? One Family's Story

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So why should anyone care about illegal aliens crossing the border. Well read the story below and see what one American family that just wants a normal life has to go through on a daily basis.


The Garner family on Purdy Lane doesn't know exactly how many chickens, roosters, Guinea hens, or geese they own on their 5-acre farm in this dusty town on the US-Mexico border.

But they know the number is smaller than the number of illegal immigrants who can be seen daily in groups of three, 10, 40, 60, and more on their property. They are often huddled in centipede form (hands on the hips of the person in front), kneeling under windows, crouched behind trees, and sleeping in their egg house.

Mr. Garner, a carpenter, his wife, and three daughters (age 10, 12, and 15) tell countless stories that are as alarming to outsiders as they are matter-of-fact to them. Theirs is a life dominated by self-defense lessons, family practice drills to huddle in the master bedroom, obligatory two-way radios for kids who walk to school, and a handgun on the hip for mom.


"You'll be weeding in your garden and turn around to see 20 of them standing in front of you, demanding water and food," says Dawn Garner, the mother.

"I come out to go to school, and they are changing their clothes under my bedroom window," says daughter Shayne.

"They leave backpacks filled with drugs on the lawn," says sister Ciara. "It's scary and creepy."

Despite increasingly harsh crackdowns over the years by the US Border Patrol (both pre- and post-911), the presence of illegal immigrants is also a growing phenomenon, says Ms. Garner, who grew up here in Naco, population 7,000. And it is more dangerous and pernicious, she says, with a growing number of people of different nationalities coming across the border, including from the Middle East, India, and Afghanistan.

The evidence of that comes in Islamic prayer rugs found in the desert dust, Arabic literature left by still-warm campfires, and Afghani head garb caught on cactus quills. The FBI also recently found a drug tunnel beneath the bedroom of a schoolmate of one of the Garner girls, with $250,000 cash hidden inside.

"The diversity of those who are coming across has grown and their desperation has definitely heightened," she says. "Years ago, they would politely ask you for water outside. Now you come home and someone is in your house, eating your food, trashing your bedroom, stealing your stuff, and leaving garbage everywhere."

Stories like those of the Garners are being corroborated from San Diego to Houston this week as the high-profile citizen's effort known as the Minutemen Project unfolds across a 20-40 mile section of the border here. A woman who lives in Laredo, Texas, tells of being choked in her own bedroom and being yanked off her horses. A San Diego couple complains of fields strewn with plastic bottles and human excrement.

Why should American citizens have to deal with this day in and day out? Sure you could say "well why don't they move?" but that's not the point. The mother was born there. The real culprit is the US government for not doing its job of securing our borders and telling the Mexican government to do its part as well and not encourage and allow them to hop the fences. This is just an outrageous daily occurrence that citizens of this country should not have to deal with.

Tipped by: The Immigration Blog

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Posted by Digger on April 11, 2005 05:04 AM (Permalink)

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That sounds like an easy life compared to life on the other side.

Posted by: Ralph on April 11, 2005 10:45 AM

Oh so what you're saying ,Ralph, is they should be thankful they don't live on the 'other side'? Why dont you move your lame ass down there and see if your dumb ass comment makes sense.

Posted by: Scrawl on April 28, 2005 12:59 AM

I've been to both sides of the border, and can give a first person testimony. But don't take my word for it. The millions of people risking life and limb to get across that border to get the $5/hour American dream is evidence enough that life on our side of the border is a whole helluva lot more pleasant.

Posted by: Ralph on April 28, 2005 05:03 AM

I'm not saying it isn't better in the US. What I am saying is I doubt 3 million new jobs open up every year to support the flow of ILLEGAL immigration. How many people are we going to let on the lifeboat before it sinks and NOBODY survives?

Posted by: Scrawl on April 28, 2005 01:31 PM

Over the past year, a little less than 2.5 million new jobs opened up according to the BLS. It's a good thing the number of immigrant workers that came to the US over the last year was a lot less than that.

Posted by: Ralph on April 28, 2005 02:02 PM

Excuse me...but I am pretty sure those stats are fudged. Are you trying to tell me that all of the jobs that opened up should go to ILLEGAL immigrants? That is what you are saying. That "2.5" million jobs opened up and we need to have 3 milion ILLEGALS a year to take them. Just say it. You encourage criminal activity and the law is a joke to you. Be a fucking man.

Posted by: Scrawl on May 1, 2005 10:23 PM

If you disagree with the stats produced by the US Dept of Labor, then please state the reasons.

I notice also a typical debate tactic popular in amateur debates. Unable to argue against what I actually wrote, you have to make something up and impute it to me. It's a tired, ineffective debate tactic.

Posted by: Ralph on May 2, 2005 05:04 AM

Also see these other great immigration resources

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration

A 28 part detailed report on the negative impacts of illegal immigration.
Immigration Stance
Immigration Stance

Find out how your members of Congress voted on immigration issues.

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
Read the free 28 part report The Dark Side of
Illegal Immigration

Includes facts, figures
and statistics.

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