RGV Landowners and Border Patrol Team Up to Fight Crime

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MCALLEN - Rio Grande Valley landowners along the border got a chance to voice their concerns in a meeting with the federal government on Thursday.

The Border Committee Liaison meetings started in 2005. These quarterly meetings are important to both landowners and law enforcement, according to South Texans Property Rights Association executive director Susan Kibbe.

She said combating crime is too big to fight alone.

“The landowner wants to be a partner with Border Patrol, but they also want them to respect their livelihoods as well,” Kibbe said.

Thursday’s meeting welcomed many landowner and city officials. The committee’s goal is to start a dialogue between them.

“Get the agents to meet and know the landowners and recognize them. That way when they’re on their property they know the people, they understand what’s required of them,” she said.

Kibbe said the relationship between Border Patrol and landowners has changed over time.

“Ten years further back, they didn’t trust them. They wouldn’t allow them to come onto their property to patrol, and now that’s changed. It’s just relationship building,” she said.

She said time has allowed them to rely on each other.

“Most of the BCL meetings have been happening for 10 years. Some of them in varying stations have them on a more regular basis. It’s improved because land owners trust Border Patrol now,” she said.

Kibbe said Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Chief Manual Padilla touched on the lack of technology along the border.

“We lack that piece here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley all the way to Del Rio. I think that’s what he was stressing that we need piece of technology and infrastructure,” she said.

We reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Public Affairs Office with questions about the future of these meetings. We have yet to receive a response.

Count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to bring you more details as they become available.


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