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EAGLE PASS, Texas – A business owner near the US southern border said she was forced to sell her family honky-tonk after the place was robbed five times since February.
“I worked alongside my dad for 19 years,” said Selena Buentello Price, former second-generation owner of The Wagon Wheel, a local barbecue. “One break-in in 25 years.”
“From February to now, I’ve had five,” Price said. “Not only was my business robbed and ransacked, but it’s just the insecurity now, you don’t feel safe at home anymore.”
Price said migrants arriving at Eagle Pass often seek shelter and supplies in vacant buildings. His family restaurant, which had been closed since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a frequent stop.
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The Del Rio sector of the southern border, which includes the small town of Eagle Pass, has recorded 375,000 migrant encounters since October last year, according to Customs and border protection. Price says migrants have “completely overrun” the small town, leading residents and business owners to feel insecure.
“In two places in our original location, our smoking room and our honky-tonk, we have this facility that helps process all these immigrants coming in,” Price told Fox News.
“Once they are processed – I literally see full buses daily – they are just released and they find refuge in whatever is abandoned or not,” she continued. “What I had and valued – which not only had sentimental value, but had real monetary value – has depreciated through clutter, trash, vandalism.”
Price said she made a habit of guarding her buildings in the early hours of the morning to watch for migrants.
“I’m so scared they’ll steal something that was a family heirloom and depreciate the value even more by going through my stuff and breaking this building,” she said.
Price said she reached a breaking point when she encountered an intruder on her property one evening. The business owner called the police, but by the time they responded the intruder had fled.
“So, I decided to finally sell my family business,” Price said.
The mayor of El Paso, a Democrat, recently began busing migrants to other cities in response to record migration at the southern border. Recently, President Biden criticized Republican governors for “playing politics” after ferrying migrants to the northeast.
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Despite the record number of border crossings, Vice President Kamala Harris affirmed last week that the “border is secure”.
Price, meanwhile, has also faced issues with migrants at her 126-acre ranch in Eagle Pass.
“I have pictures from our game cameras capturing more immigrants than I do from wildlife,” she said.
“Years before this border opening, we used to see maybe five immigrants a month,” Price said. “As soon as those borders opened up…there was movement every day.”
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In addition to selling the family’s original barbecue spot, Price told Fox News she had to sell her horses and cattle because migrants frequently cut her fences allowing her cattle to escape from their paddocks. .
“I was forced because I couldn’t maintain my fences fast enough,” she said. “They were damaged every other day.”
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Price said she and her 29-year-old daughter keep guns in their bedrooms due to the number of migrants she regularly sees passing through her ranch.
“You’re worried because you’re thinking about worst-case scenarios,” Price said. “And that takes your peace.”
“Our security as we know it is gone,” she told Fox News.