Makeshift huts housed immigrants on farmland

NEWSCENTER 23
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POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 5:10pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 8:27am

For some time makeshift huts housed more than 70 undocumented immigrants. 

Field workers found the immigrants living on a grapefruit orchard north of Palmhurst.  

The huts are being cleared out after the Border Patrol arrested the immigrants last week.

"That's one hut right there," property owner Angel Rodriguez said, pointing to a large pile of dried grass.  "I mean that's crazy. There's how many (huts), at least 20 something? That's insane." 

Rodriguez owns the 500 acre property. He says he will hire a crew to clean up the area and it will take a week to finish.  

This isn't the first time the owner has dealt with unwanted tenants. 

From our count, there are more than a dozen huts similar to this one. It's being held up with sticks and covered in brush. They've been living in these conditions for about two weeks.

"We have seen makeshift huts in the past, where smugglers tend to utilize brush areas to conceal humans," Daniel Tirado of the U.S. Border Patrol said. "But this is one of the few that they've actually build inside an orchard." 

Inside the huts, only makeshift beds, old food and clothes are left. They show what conditions the occupants lived in. 

Rodriguez has no sympathy for the trespassers on his property.   He says the unwanted visitors have stolen from him in the past.

"I fear for my workers, my family, I got five boys," Rodriguez said. "We don't trust these people, I don't."  

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