The female ranchers torn between fear and empathy amid US border chaos

  • Video report from ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy

You don’t make a living as a female rancher in West Texas without a hefty degree of resilience and independence.

Sometimes, the nearest neighbour is three hours away, so too the nearest help.

The women I spoke with this week ranged from their mid-30s to mid-80s, their lives dedicated to their farms and families. They are used to being alone on their ranches and it never used to be an issue, but it is now. 

They weren’t sure if they actually wanted to speak about what is happening on their land.

Some had been told by husbands and sons that they shouldn’t, all were fearful of repercussions, but they did because they want people to know what is happening on the border.

They are not women driven by hatred or xenophobia, but they want to protect their way of life.

  • Rancher Waynelle Strachan urges the government to control immigration

They all had stories of migrants crossing their land having illegally crossed the border.

It used to be once in a while, it became a few dozen a day, now for some of them it is a few hundred every day.

They spoke of doors being stoved in and demands for food or water. They spoke of fences being cut, cattle getting free, water being siphoned off.

  • Rancher Sylvia Baker says she tends to injured migrants

They also spoke of migrants turning up dead and dying on their land, of tending to them, of wrapping raw feet, of providing food and water.

They are fearful now and they are seeing the situation get worse by the week.

The numbers are rising and they feel they are the unheard voices in America’s immigration debate.

That is why they decided to go against the views of so many and actually say what is happening in their world.