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New Mexico rancher says property is 'under siege,' details how illegal immigration is poisoning livestock and driving cattle away from food
The Johnson Ranch sits along the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

New Mexico rancher says property is 'under siege,' details how illegal immigration is poisoning livestock and driving cattle away from food

New Mexico rancher Russell Johnson, whose property runs for eight miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, told Fox News on Monday that President Joe Biden's illegal immigration crisis has his property, as Fox put it, "under siege."

The biggest problem he is currently experiencing, he told Fox News, is the treatment of his cattle.

According to Johnson, illegal aliens' actions are poisoning and scaring off his cattle, driving them away from their food sources.

What's happening on his ranch?

Johnson, whose family has ranched along the border for more than 100 years, indicated that he has long dealt with illegal immigrants traipsing across his land. But, he told Fox News, since Biden took office, he has seen a "dramatic increase in illegal foot traffic" that is hurting his ranching operation.

And this current surge is causing severe problems for his livestock.

"Every time that we've had a dramatic surge of foot traffic like this, you get the common problems that everybody sees along the border with trash being left behind, the backpacks, the clothing, all the stuff that's in the backpacks gets scattered across the range land," Johnson said. "And that's horrible for cattle to encounter, especially if they attempt to consume it."

The current drought conditions in the area are only exacerbating the problem, Johnson said.

With less food currently growing for the cattle to graze on, “Our cattle are struggling to get enough feed to maintain their body conditions," he explained. "So we're having to feed them. But we still have pretty good usable feed in areas along the border, and, because we're having such an increase in foot traffic, it's keeping our cattle driven out of these areas."

But no matter how much Johnson does to push his cattle to the usable food, the illegal alien foot traffic is keep the livestock away.

“We've had to try to push them back into these areas, and they keep getting pushed out by the amount of traffic that's coming through," he said, "particularly in the three-quarter mile gap that's been left funneling all this traffic into our area."

The gap Johnson mentioned is one he has hit out at the administration over before. Back in mid-March, Johnson told Fox News that when Biden put a halt to the border fence, he left a three-quarter mile gap that serves to funnel illegals directly onto the Johnsons' ranch land. And most of those immigrants are criminals, not the "unaccompanied minors" the administration has focused on.

"We have a three-quarter-mile gap," Johnson told Fox News on March 19, "and they're exploiting this, we don't have the unaccompanied minors coming to our area. What we have is a criminal element."

'Never felt more abandoned'

Fox asked Johnson for his thoughts on Vice President Kamala Harris' refusal to visit the southern border in the 75 days since Biden tapped her to manage the immigration crisis — though she is currently in Guatemala to discuss the "root causes" of illegal immigration.

"The problem with the United States is right here on our border," Johnson answered. "It's very disappointing to see our elected officials going down to another country and basically putting the citizens of this country on the back burner. We feel very abandoned. We talk amongst our family all the time."

"We've never felt more abandoned by our government in all the years — my family's been on this border for over 103 years — and we've never felt more abandoned and disheartened that we have today," he added.

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