South Texas rancher willing to give up land for border wall
STARR COUNTY, Texas – A rancher in Texas is ready to give up part his land for President Donald Trump's border wall.
His property is a stone's throw from the Mexican border.
He explained why he wants the wall to be built.
"I was born on Feb. 26, 1944," Ruperto Escobar said. "About 100 yards from here."
Escobar's roots run deep into the 600 acres of South Texas soil.
"My ancestors lived here as well," Escobar said.
Six generations lived there before him.
The 73-year-old farms and ranches a riverside property in Starr County, Texas.
"Through the years, we've worked the land, took off the brush and leveled it out," Escobar said.
The rugged and dusty land has carried the name of the Escobar family for centuries, long before it was annexed by the United States or even made up part of the Republic of Texas.
By all accounts, Escobar, a teacher, farmer and rancher, is as American as it gets.
"That property has been in our family since around 1767," Escobar said.
Escobar said that as long as there's been a border, there have been smugglers who are determined to cross it illegally.
His father saw bootleg tequila sneaked over the Rio Grande during prohibition.
These days, it's people and drugs.
"I'm not sure that a wall will ever stop all of these. I would like to see it stopped," Escobar said.
You won't find many neighbors who share Escobar's views in that part of Texas.
He is a conservative in a predominantly blue region of a red state.
"Our president, in his own party, beat 16 other candidates. What does that tell you? That the American people were listening to him, so at some point I started listening to him as well," Escobar said.
Escobar said he has seen firsthand the face of immigration from his doorstep.
"So many of them come and tell us their stories about their hunger pains over there, about the corruption, about the illegal activities going on in their country. It breaks our heart," he said.
He said it will also break his heart
if he has to part with something that he holds dear.
"If my country needs part of my property, I'd be willing to give it up so that we can continue to be the land of the brave and the home of the free, like it always has been for immigrants from all over the world that come here seeking to be a part of this country in a legal way," Escobar said.
Escobar gave Trump his vote and is now prepared to give Trump his land.
Officials said the bidding for the construction of the wall will get underway next week.
Hundreds of companies have expressed interest in taking part in the project.
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