Two Arizona farmers raised concerns about migrant crossings contaminating their crops as migrants walk over their fields from the U.S.-Mexico border, Fox News reported Monday.
The Yuma, Arizona, farmers said migrants entering the state through holes in the border wall may contaminate crops they step on, which could jeopardize the nation’s food supply since farmers flag any produce that may have been in contact with different pathogens, according to the outlet.
“If there’s somebody that walks into our field and then we don’t know about why, we put up flags and kind of mark it out and we don’t harvest that,” Pasquinelli Produce Company President Alex Muller told Fox News.
Migrants exploiting border wall gaps contaminate crops, threaten nation’s food security, Arizona farmers say https://t.co/w257OkgrVJ
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 16, 2023
Yuma, also known as America’s winter lettuce capital, provides over 90% of lettuce consumed in the U.S. during the winter months, as well as citrus and cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), according to the Desert Museum in Tucson.
“We’ve gotten a fair amount of traffic through and around our fields and through the whole entire Yuma Valley,” fifth-generation farmer Hank Auza said. Auza’s farm is located near the Morelos Dam, where gaps in the border wall allow migrants to enter the country, according to the outlet. (RELATED: ‘They’re Trying To George Floyd Me!’: BLM Co-Founder’s Cousin Dies Hours After Police Tase Him)
Former Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in August placed crates along the wall to help block the gaps and ease the historic number of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Arizona over the directive in December, claiming the state was trespassing on federal land and that the administration would put a stop to “Arizona’s unlawful continuing trespasses and invasions of the United States’ paramount sovereign property rights and interests under the U.S. Constitution.”
“Where the gaps are opens up to more farm ground for them to walk across,” Auza told the outlet. “We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just on our farm for food safety.”