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Texas rancher tries to save illegal immigrants with water stations.

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2014 | Wrongful Death |

In an area near Falfurrias, Texas in Brooks County, a rancher tries to help save lives on the real property. He hopes that his efforts will help save illegal immigrants who get lost in the brush. The rancher, Lavoyger Durham, said he is tired of the loss of life on his ranch. He knows that countless illegal immigrants travel through the ranch on foot. They do so in the Texas hot weather.

The immigrants take water jugs on their journey to Houston. They leave hundreds of empty water jugs spread out throughout the El Tule Ranch. The illegal immigrants leave the trash behind on the land during their journey north. Durham said many immigrant trekkers do not make it to their destination. He has discovered 25 bodies since he took over management of the ranch.

What did the rancher do to help alleviate the dangerous problem on his ranch? Durham set up a water station for the immigrants. He claims it is the first of its kind in South Texas. The water station is identified by a tall blue flag.

The danger of traveling to the Unites States or Houston may serve as a deterrent for illegal immigrants. This water station may encourage other ranchers to add water stations, which may very well encourage illegal immigrants to make the trip. The potential danger here is that it may add a false sense of security since the ranches are huge and water stations are few, none or limited.

“It’s put out here on a hot trail, and it’s obvious that it’s being used by a lot of people that walk through going to Houston,” Durham said in a KRGV news interview.

Durham reportedly has two other water stations in other heavily traveled areas. The rancher’s opinion is that thousands of immigrants walk through his ranch to avoid the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint. While Durham said he does not support illegal crossings, he does not want to see immigrants die on his property. In Durham’s news statement, he said, “I try to save lives as much as I can and even provide water out there for them on hot trail.”

Unless the rancher or property owner created a dangerous condition with knowledge that a trespasser may get hurt, the owner should not be responsible for any wrongful death claims made by the families related to those that died in the illegal border crossing. The same would apply for personal injury claims.

  – Article By Richard Weaver


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