“Honey, I’ve lived here all my life. This is all I know. I thought we were better off before the Border Patrol invaded us,” said Annette Walton, 53, as she served coffee and burgers to regulars at her diner, Our Place Cafe in South Bisbee. “We were not invaded by the illegals. We were invaded by Border Patrol.”
Innkeeper Jami Knudsvig is put off by the “ominous and eerie” way the border fence near her home is illuminated at night, itsgreen-tinged lights pulsing in rhythm.
“They’re like Christmas lights. Just bigger,” she said. “Who are we keeping out? Are we keeping us in?”
Dan Oldfield, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, calls the security presence excessive and “a constant nuisance.”
Oldfield said he had never felt unsafe, even when his home was burglarized in the 1990s by people he suspects were border crossers.
“Nothing was taken,” he said. “They went through the refrigerator, looking for something to eat.”
A tree-maintenance contractor, Oldfield said he didn’t understand how the agents filled their days, noting that illegal border crossings in the area have plummeted in recent years.