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Border security: US rancher's warning on immigration reform

31 July 2013 Last updated at 00:39 BST

US Congress is debating an increase in border security as part of an overhaul of the country's immigration system.

But local residents and long-time ranchers along the border worry that their already diminished rights might be under attack again.

Since its peak in 2000, apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the Southern border have decreased 78% to 357,000 in 2012. Two thirds of this drop can be explained by a weak US economy, according to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations. The other third is due to enforcement increases.

In 2012, the US government spent $18bn (£11bn) on border enforcement. The number of border patrol agents in the south more than doubled in the last decade to 18,000 from 8,000.

Under the immigration reform bill passed by the US Senate last month, an additional 18,000 agents would be added in the next decade.

The BBC talked to John Ladd, a fourth-generation rancher whose land borders Mexico, about the border agents who patrol his property.

Produced by the BBC's Franz Strasser

Altered States is a series of video features published every Wednesday on the BBC News website which examines how shifting demographics and economic conditions affect America on a local level.

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