Checking in with America’s Border Rancher Activists
Getting news from the American West used to take months even though monumental events were occurring that would shape the nation’s future. It wasn’t until 1861 when Western Union installed a transcontinental telegraph line from California to New York that faster messaging became possible. Even then, the transmission was iffy because of relay glitches. 162 years later, satellite communications are real-time, yet when it comes to reporting on illegal alien border issues, transmission remains iffy given mainstream media omissions, distortions, and outright censorship.
No one knows that better than those who make their living along the U.S.-Mexico border, notably Arizona cattle ranchers Fred and Peggy Davis, and their neighboring ranchers and friends, John and JoBeth Ladd. The Davis ranch, founded in 1867, is located in the Tombstone area of Cochise County, 25 miles north of the Mexican border. Despite that distance, their property has been overrun by illegal aliens and drug runners threatening life and property. Just south is the Ladd ranch, run by fourth-generation ranchers whose property shares ten miles of border with Mexico. The Ladds estimate the Border Patrol has apprehended more than a half million illegal aliens on their land over the last 30 years.
Both families have been national figures in the true immigration reform movement for years, offering first-hand testimony about the realities of America’s border crisis, and holding public officials accountable. They’re always willing to speak bluntly with the media – even generously offering their ranch as staging areas for interviews and activist events. The Davises and Ladds are committed to setting the record straight, guided it seems by the old cowboy adage that, “If the words don’t add up, then the truth was probably left out of the equation.”
We thought it was high time to check in with them:
Have you observed changes after Title 42 (T-42) was lifted and the CBP mobile app was put in place?
Ladds: “Numbers went down a little after T-42 was lifted, (but) it also started getting hot here. We are getting 15 illegals per hour through our ranch. This number has been verified by Border Patrol and our sheriff. We are still getting military-age males dressed in full camouflage carrying a cell phone.”
Status of fence? How much is built on your property?
Ladds: “Our ranch is fully fenced, 2.5 miles of 18’ bollard wall and 8 miles of 30’ bollard wall, which was completed in 2020. Homeland Security has contracted to finish the border road (60’ easement) and the low water crossings from Ajo, Ariz., to the New Mexico State line. The contractor is on our ranch now and they expect to be here at least a year.”
What are local officials, sheriffs, and/or federal law enforcement doing?
Ladds: “Our sheriff, Mark Dannels, has done an outstanding job using real-time game cameras, and Border Interdiction and Load Vehicle interdiction teams. High-speed chases are the main problem now. Sixteen people have been killed in our county.”
Davises: “Local law enforcement has been very helpful for us. We recently had a vehicle that was coming into our ranch nearly every day for several days. We suspected that someone was trying to find a drop location for either aliens or drugs. The sheriff sent the ranch patrol to put up cameras and the person was caught and questioned. It was determined that our suspicions were right. A truckload of fentanyl was caught on our ranch and there were 12 drug runners captured with the load. Fences have been cut by drug runners attempting to drive through pasture land. This destroys feed for our livestock.”
What are you doing to protect your property?
Ladds: “We still have good relations with the Border Patrol (although) they’ve been neutered by Homeland Security. We depend on our sheriff department for protection.”
Davises: “We were recently robbed by suspected drug runners. Since then we have installed more secure combination locks and deadbolt locks on all of our buildings, plus cameras to detect people around our buildings. We live too far for the sheriff’s department to (expect a prompt) response from a 911 call. Self-protection and deterrents are a must.”
What do you want Americans to know, given you’re all on the front lines?
Ladds: “America better wake up. What are we going to do with 7 to 8 million people?”
Davises: “The front lines of America have moved north. All that has happened to us for the past 40 years is going to happen to everyone else. Every state is now a border state. Our sovereignty is compromised by millions of people who do not belong here.”
The Davis and Ladd families — and other border cattle ranchers like them trying to make a living in the midst of chaos — are the modern-day Southwest telegraph operators dispatching truth. More than that, they are American patriots committed to preserving their way of life for future generations. After all, it’s a way of life that puts food on all our tables.
Transmission good. Message received.