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'Pity' Leads Texas Rancher to Set Up Water Station at Border

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A bright blue and flag hoisted several meters into the air marks the spot where undocumented immigrants crossing the border dividing Mexico and Texas can find jugs of water, loaded weekly into a large barrel labelled "agua." Lavoyger Durham fills the barrel on his ranch for those dehydrated after a 30-mile hike from a known drop-off point in Mexico. After finding two bodies on his property last week, he said he knows the "water station" is necessary. "I try to save their lives," Durham said, adding, "I've got compassion. I've got pity."

Some ranchers don't feel the same way. "The only way I would allow them to put those jugs on my property is if Border Patrol were going to be allowed to put a camera on that water source and be able to intercept these people that are utilizing them," Mike Vickers said. Durham doesn't find reporting every individual very effective though. "By the time the Border Patrol comes out here, they’ll be in Houston, Texas, having a Tecate beer," he said.

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— Amy Calvin and Elisha Fieldstadt

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