John Ladd and his ancestors have been ranchers in the border town of Bisbee, Ariz. since 1896. While Ladd loves his life and his ranch, he’s also dealing with a growing problem:
Government agents have been trespassing on his property for decades. He says the problem is only getting worse, and he’s had enough:
“I’m tired of putting up with the federal government and border patrol and anyone else who thinks they have the right to come on to my ranch and do whatever they want. That’s the bottom line.”
Ladd’s ranch is just a few miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border. He says that when he was growing up, the border was no more than an afterthought. But in 1980s, everything changed.
“Border Patrol showed up in the late ‘80s, early 90s. The border wasn’t a big deal to me [before], but now it is. It dominates my livelihood and my life because I deal with it every day.”
So how much does it dominate Ladd’s life?
“They monitor my movements every day. I’m questioned daily about what I’m doing. They call me [saying,] ‘Are you down here? Are you doing this? What truck are you in?’ That’s none of your business. I’m working my ranch.”
Ladd says border patrol agents completely disregard – and even take down – gates and fences marking off his territory.
On one hand, it’s good to know that border patrol agents are actually searching for illegals entering the country.
On the other hand, given that Ladd’s ranch is several miles from the Mexican border, if the border were secured, John Ladd could go back to running his ranch without concern over trespassers and the apparently endless scrutiny of the federal government.