BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS — A new national survey concluded most of the people who live along the Texas/Mexico border oppose building a wall.
One rancher who lives near the banks of the Rio Grande River said it provides a false sense of security.
Rusty Monsees, 68, said fencing around his 21 acres of property does nothing to stop immigrants from crossing through.
Monsees is a long-time Brownsville resident who showed us around his property so we can see firsthand how the border fence cuts right through it.
What was once a flat farm land is now surrounded by the iron structure, built by the federal government to fend off illegal crossers.
“Border wall from here is 175 yards. Mexico is 185 feet,” he said.
He feels trapped in no man’s land. He says the border fence is flawed by design. He's not worried about the immigrant workers but the drug and human smugglers and potential terrorists. So much so he sleeps in his truck next to his loaded rifle every night.
“I’ve got families involved in this and it makes me mad!” He said.
Residents on Monsees Road share that sentiment. They feel forgotten. They say a new border wall won’t make them any safer. They're not alone. A new poll released today by Cronkite News, Univison and Dallas Morning News surveyed nearly 1,500 residents on both sides of the border, 70% of whom say they’re against the idea of a wall.
“It’s not going to work because if you don’t have the people that maintain it," he said. "You’ve got to have ground troops, and you need more than a tower, and you need more than four guys on a shift.”
Rusty says he’s not only fighting illegal immigration. He’s fighting against cancer and his kidneys are failing. He doesn’t know how much longer he can hold on.
Rusty tells us his doctors give him about 6 more months to live. Not knowing what will become of his property, he hopes someone will take over and hold down the fort, so to speak. In the meantime, he vows to stand his ground.