Arizona Ranchers See A Lot To Like In Trump's Border Plan

Download Audio

Ranchers who live near the border fence in southern Arizona have to deal with Mexican drug smugglers and migrants cutting illegally through their property. One of those ranchers is John Ladd, who owns San Jose Ranch outside Naco, Arizona, about two hours south of Tucson. The smugglers tear down cattle gates and bust up pipes to get clean water in the desert.

Many ranchers believe Donald Trump’s border security plan — building a bigger wall, creating a deportation force and increasing the number of federal agents who work in the area — is the best solution to their problems.

Interview Highlights: John Ladd

On how drug smugglers interact with the border fence

"This is, because of that corridor coming through here, they cut the fence to start with, and then you fix it everyday, and they cut it the next morning. And so when they really want to make you aware that they're coming through here, they just break the posts.

"And this is their way of telling me, 'We want this area. Don't fix it.' I did, for 20 years. But I can't do it, I've got other things to do besides fixing fences every day."

On his personal experiences with border security

"I think if there is one story, it's these people come through me every day and do this kind of damage, but they go live in other parts [of the country] — they're in every city in America now. So welcome to America — if that's what you really want, these people coming in and living next to you, so be it. They do a lot of damage getting here."

On Trump's proposal to build a border wall

"I think it's a play on words. I think he's gonna do it with economic sanctions — he's going to wall the U.S., Mexico, and what he says, 'Make Mexico pay for it?' It's going to be in a tariff, and that goes back to all the American companies that have moved into Mexico because of cheap labor. So I don't believe he's gonna build a 50-foot wall. I don't think that's what he really means."

This article was originally published on October 19, 2016.

This segment aired on October 19, 2016.


Headshot of Peter O'Dowd

Peter O'Dowd Senior Editor, Here & Now
Peter O’Dowd has a hand in most parts of Here & Now — producing and overseeing segments, reporting stories and occasionally filling in as host. He came to Boston from KJZZ in Phoenix.



More from Here & Now

Listen Live