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Migrants Exploiting Border Wall Gaps Contaminate Crops, Threaten Nation’s Food Security, Arizona Farmers Say

The border crisis is jeopardizing the nation’s food security as migrants trespass through farmland, contaminating crops, two Arizona farmers with fields near the southern border told Fox News.


Yuma — the country’s agricultural leader in leafy green production during the winter months — provides about 90% of the nation’s supply of romaine and iceberg lettuce, according to the Department of Agriculture. It supplies around 9 billion servings of leafy greens per year, but farmers fear they will lose crops as more migrants pass through the border wall’s gaps and into their fields.


Then-Gov. Doug Ducey ordered construction of a container wall in August to plug those holes. But the state agreed to remove the shipping containers by early January as a result of a federal lawsuit.

“Where the gaps are opens up to more farm ground for them to walk across,” a fifth-generation farmer, Hank Auza, told Fox News. {snip}

Yuma migrant crossings increased 171% between 2021 and 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection. About 1 million migrants have crossed Arizona’s southern border during the Biden presidency.

“This is the largest humanitarian disaster we’ve had in this country,” Auza said. “And part of the country is happy that it’s happening. {snip}”

A neighboring farmer lost nearly $100,000 after a handful of migrants hid on his land for a week, Auza told Fox News. He couldn’t harvest the affected crops in case they were contaminated with pathogens that could lead to foodborne illness.