They’ve cut down her fences, stolen her pickup and even broken into her home—once rampaging into the bedroom and nearly strangling her, sparing her life only after she grabbed a gun.
Not so lucky were several loyal dogs that were killed by the determined invaders.
Local authorities offered little help, and federal officers could do only so much with limited resources.
Left to fend for herself, South Texas rancher Kerry Morales decided to take direct action to stop undocumented immigrants who move daily through her 80 acres outside Hebbronville, about 54 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Maybe 20 years ago the illegals were innocent, hard-working people,” she said. “Not any more. Now they’re extremely dangerous. They mean violence.”
In April, Morales plans to join approximately 1,000 other volunteers from across the United States expected to descend on a 20-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border and become temporary, de facto border guards.
The effort already is drawing critics—including the Border Patrol—but organizers are adamant the monthlong gathering will be a peaceful show of force, not a vigilante operation.
Dubbed the Minuteman Project after the 1770s-era Massachusetts militiamen on call at a moment’s notice, it is the brainchild of Jim Gilchrist, a retired California accountant and former Marine who fought in Vietnam.