U.S. ranchers near Mexico weigh in on border wall, shutdown talks

NOGALES, Ariz. (FOX News) -- Ranchers on the border like Jim Chilton own thousands of acres of land - and they are increasingly concerned about the situation right in their backyard. Their stories are being heard in Washington as a GOP House delegation made a visit to the Arizona-Mexico border this week. The officials met with Border Patrol agents and visited ranchers like Chilton, and his wife, Sue.

Jim and Sue Chilton have had deer cameras at their border ranch for five years. Sue Chilton said in the past five years, she has not seen women and children crossing the border -- it's been mostly men.

"Our route through us is a drug and human smuggling route...as the cartel is squeezed at the points of entry, they will send more and more of their traffic between the points of entry because that is currently the weak link…no apprehension, no surveillance," Sue said.

Some who live along the border say this is why a wall is needed - they see first-hand the issue paralyzing Washington right now.

>>VIDEO: Ranchers, agents share border security concerns

>>FULL COVERAGE: Government Shutdown

"What's the cost of not securing the border? Billions. Think of the drugs coming into this country, the poison," Chilton said.

Republican members of Congress toured the border this week and met with Border Patrol agents. They were shown parts of the border that had barbed wire or just a rope holding fences together. Suddenly, the wall ends and it's just vast, open land.

Border agent Art Del Cueto said 40 percent of the illegal drugs smuggled into the U.S. came through this part of the border.

"It's not a problem that affects just the border," Del Cueto said. "It's not a problem that affects just the congressional leaders within border states because the drugs that are coming through here are going into the United States further into the country. And it's a big deal."

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