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Bill Aims to Reimburse Farmers for Property Damage
USAgNet - 08/04/2021

A new bill introduced in Congress would support producers who experienced property damage because of mass migration. Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Republican Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11) and other Texas representatives tabled H.R. 4896 on July 30.

According to Farms.com, the resolution directs the Secretary of Agriculture to “establish a program to provide reimbursement to agricultural producers for losses sustained due to illegal immigration.”

Funding for such a program would come from the American Rescue Plan.

The legislation would direct about $300 million of unused funds from the plan to help producers offset property damage repair costs.

Farmers shouldn’t have to bear responsibility for property damages they didn’t cause, Rep. Gonzalez said.

“When fencing on ranch land is cut due to increased migration, it takes a serious financial toll on South Texas farmers and ranchers,” he said in a statement. “I support this bipartisan bill to reimburse these landowners and ensure they have the necessary funds to restore their property. We must continue working together to address the root causes of migration to prevent these incidents from happening.”

Farmers have expressed property damage concerns this year because of illegal immigration.

On Aug. 2, Brent Smith, a Texas rancher from Kinney County told Fox & Friends his property sustained about $60,000 worth of damage because of people trespassing through his farm and insurance companies are likely to present landowners with the bill when damage does occur.

“If it’s a stolen vehicle that goes through the property their vehicle insurance isn’t going to pay for it and ours won’t either, so the landowners are stuck paying for this,” he said.

In May, farmers told Border Report about instances of crop damage or even having to provide care for migrants who became ill drinking dirty water.


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