Posted: Jul 18, 2014 7:13 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2014 7:13 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A natural gas pipeline has become a back road around a Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias.
The construction for the pipeline cut a path along the rugged South Texas brush. Brooks County ranchers say illegal immigrants now are using that path.
The region still posses a serious threat to those who try to circumvent the Border Patrol checkpoint. One rancher set up multiple water stations in an effort to prevent more deaths.
Lavoyger Durham manages a large ranch in the area. He said illegals sometimes walk 35 miles along the pipeline's path.
The immigrants take to the brush to hide from Border Patrol. Many venture into ranches where there is no water.
"The reason I put it here is because I picked up five dead bodies," Durham said of one water station.
The water stations are spread through some of the smuggling routes on the ranch Durham manages.
The harsh South Texas brush claims the lives of dozens of immigrants every year.
Durham said Border Patrol needs to secure the border rather than run checkpoints away from the international divide.
"Put more agents down there instead of having the (checkpoint) up here. In my opinion it serves no purpose," he said.
Durham said lives would be saved if the checkpoint was moved to the Valley. He said Border Patrol would catch illegals before they had a chance to travel the dangerous pipeline trails.