EAGLE PASS, Texas – Migrants have killed pets, stolen from shops and knocked on doors late at night in a Texas border town, prompting some residents to arm themselves, locals told Fox News.
"I don't feel safe," Laura Ramos, an Eagle Pass business owner, told Fox News. She said she keeps "several weapons" at her store for defense.
Griselda, another local business owner whose employees are all female, said she used to close her business at 9 p.m.
"We now close at seven because it gets dark, people are walking around, all girls, you just never know," she told Fox News.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who President Biden had tasked with tackling the migrant crisis, recently said in an interview that "the border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system."
"I live far from the downtown, but in that area, it's a lot of ranch[es], a lot of big properties," Cindy told Fox News. She said migrants went onto one property, "and in order to steal something, they killed the dogs."
"They are like robbing stuff or killing animals to eat," Cindy continued. "So that's what concerns me."
Eagle Pass has three official border crossings, but the most popular course is to illegally cross the Rio Grande, according to locals. The large influx of migrants into the border city has stressed local resources, and residents said they believe the town is not as safe as it used to be.
The Del Rio sector of the southern border, which includes Eagle Pass, has seen over 376,000 migrant encounters since October 2021, averaging out to nearly 1,100 per day, according to Customs and Border Protection. That's more than double the 183,000 encounters seen the year prior.
Ramos said she taught her children how to handle tasers and other weapons to defend themselves in case there's an incident while they're working.
"I already taught them how to use these weapons," Laura told Fox News. "They're teenagers. They're 14 and 15 years old."
"It's something that has had to be done because we don't know what can happen," she continued. "We don't know these people or where they come from."
One longtime Eagle Pass resident, Rosie, said: "It's not safe, especially for a lot of the ranchers."
Cesar, who works downtown, also said migrants are "leaving a lot of trash" on ranches.
"A lot of migrants are dying in the river, too," he added. "All those things are affecting the city," he continued.
Migrant drownings in the Rio Grande have flooded Eagle Pass mortuaries, forcing the city to request refrigerators to preserve bodies, according to the town's fire chief.
"So the situation, it's not under control," Ricardo, who owns a food truck business in Eagle Pass said. "My understanding is that we need to close off our borders because if we don't do nothing, more people will come, and those people are suffering."
Armando told Fox News that he sees new groups of migrants walking alongside the road "pretty much every day."
"You always hear on the internet that there's immigrants walking around neighborhoods, to lock your doors and stuff like that," Armando said. "Even the local law enforcement, they tell us to do that."
Recently, Armando said his sister heard a knock on her bedroom window around midnight.
"I'm pretty sure it was" migrants, Armando said. "It's pretty scary."
"We're getting used to it already because, unfortunately, nothing is really being done." he continued.
"And of course, we're grateful for all law enforcement to help us keep protecting and stuff," Armando said. "But I mean, with no laws and rules changing, it just stays the same."