Families Living on US / Mexico Border Fearful as Rise in Illegal Crossings Continues

(Original Article HERE)

Posted: Nov 17, 2016 5:48 PM CST

Updated: Nov 17, 2016 5:48 PM CST

WESLACO – A family living along the border is growing fearful for their safety as the rise in people crossing the border illegally continues.

The Ochoa family lives in a neighborhood a few blocks from the Rio Grande. They want their home to be safe. They see people crossing their land every day and are fed up.

Juan Ochoa said it’s no longer one or two immigrants coming through his backyard.

“They caught another four, five of them behind there and I was here at that time,” he recalled.

Ochoa said his dogs are the first to notice the illegal crossings. “Day and night, you can hear the dogs barking,” he said.

His family usually leaves the back door unlocked when they’re home. However, that changed last Friday when they heard a noise coming from the back of the home.

“One of them came in through the back door,” Ochoa said.

A person who crossed the border illegally entered their home asking to hide from Border Patrol.

“They can come and do harm to us. So we’re pretty, pretty afraid of these people crossing constantly,” he said.

Ochoa’s fiancé said she’s afraid for her family. She asked for her identity to be hidden.

“It’s dangerous for us that are living here in our homes and they’re trying to break in through the doors just so Border Patrol won’t see them. They won’t get caught. They’ll do anything and that’s what we’re afraid of,” she said.

She said it’s a mix. Some people who cross the border illegally are just looking for a better life for their family.

“They’re not attacking you. They’re just hiding because they want to come to the United States,” she said.

Ochoa didn’t report the man who entered his home last week. He said if it happens again he will file a report.

“So we won’t have to be constantly locking the doors, every single second,” he said.

According to a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy, any person who trespasses onto private property is breaking Texas law, regardless of their immigration status.

Ochoa said his family will continue having sleepless nights. He knows people will keep crossing the border illegally. His backyard will still be their pathway north.

Ochoa and his family said they’d like to see Border Patrol agents more often.

The sheriff’s department does not patrol Ochoa’s area as much because they know Border Patrol is there. The family just wants their peace of mind and their property back.

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.P. Rodriguez urges the Ochoa’s and others to make incident reports. The reports collected are then turned into data.

The data helps determine where problem areas are within the community. Police can then place more patrol units at the locations.

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