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Friday, August 1, 2014

Border Vigilante Calls Attention To Adults Entering U.S. Illegally

Michael Vickers, co-founder of Texas Border Volunteers, sent us this photo of a checkpoint near his home, where the tally of immigrants apprehended at the border is posted on a sign. (Courtesy of Michael Vickers)

Michael Vickers, co-founder of Texas Border Volunteers, sent us this photo of a checkpoint near his home, where the tally of immigrants apprehended at the border is posted on a sign. (Courtesy of Michael Vickers)

Most of the 57,000 or so unaccompanied and undocumented Central American minors who’ve come to the U.S. in the last 10 months present themselves to Customs and Border Protection officers at the U.S.-Mexico border. They want to be taken in, in the hopes that they will be reunited with family members in the U.S.

But 70 miles north of the border, in Brooks County, Texas, many residents feel they’re living on another border. They say adult migrants have made it to their property, and they don’t want to be caught. They claim they’re trying to cross through ranches to try to avoid government checkpoints.

A helicopter kicks up dust as a U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehends an undocumented immigrant who had collapsed after running from agents on July 25 near Falfurrias, Texas. Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have crossed into the U.S. this year, causing a humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas' Rio Grande Valley has become the epicenter of the latest immigrant crisis, as more Central Americans have crossed illegally from Mexico into that sector than any other stretch of America's 1,933 mile border with Mexico. (John Moore/Getty Images)

A helicopter kicks up dust as a U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehends an undocumented immigrant who had collapsed after running from agents on July 25 near Falfurrias, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Ranchers say this illegal immigration is going unreported while the attention shifts to kids, and those ranchers are taking matters into their own hands.

Michael Vickers is a rancher and veterinarian in Falfurrias, Texas. He and his wife, Linda, co-founded the Texas Border Volunteers. Members of this group look for people who cross the border illegally, and then report them to the Border Patrol.

Vickers joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain why he founded the organization and its importance today.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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