Apparently, picking up illegal Mexican aliens is an ongoing part of Chipper Jones’ life. I can just see him riding in his truck a la Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber: “Pick ‘em up!” Chipper lives on a farm in southwest Texas which many Mexicans meander across as they make their way in to Los Estados Unidos. Jones makes sure they are all well before calling the border patrol, and he’s real relaxed about the whole thing. Chipper joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta to discuss one of the most startling experiences he’s ever had, the largest number of Mexicans he’s had in his truck at one time, and what he goes through each time it happens.
On a recent frightening run-in with five illegal aliens on his farm:
“Well, you wanna talk about probably the biggest chill going up and down your spine that you’ve ever had? Try walking to the deer stand at 5:00 in the morning when it’s pitch black dark, and you’re climbing up the ladder to this power line, and you’ve got five faces standing there staring at you. But, here’s the thing, you feel fairly confident because you have a high powered weapon over your shoulder, but you know, it’s still… (Host: That had to literally scare the hell out of you.) I almost fell off the ladder when I opened the door. (Host: Is there communication? Are you asking them who they are? What happens next?) I know a little Spanish, enough to communicate with them, get them in the truck and it’s very calm, most of the time when I run in to the Mexicans crossing the border, it’s very calm, very collected. I ask them if they’re thirsty, if they’re hungry, I take them back to the house and at some point we call the border patrol just to make sure that they make it back safe and what not. People say that it’s mean to call the border patrol, but who else are you gonna call? I mean, I’m not gonna spend my whole offseason driving illegals back…”
On the largest number of illegal Mexicans he’s encountered:
“I’ve had up to 15 people in the back of my truck; I ran in to a group of about 15 of them one time. It gets pretty hairy until you find one that speaks a little bit on English, or a guy that’s willing to talk to you. Most of them, by the time they get to my ranch, they’re so thirsty or so hungry that they’re willing to go with you.”
How far is your ranch from the border?
“In a straight line, I think I’m 12 to 15 miles from the Mexican border.”
Do any of the Mexicans ask you for work?
“Most of them have an agenda, they’re pretty much on their way to San Antonio either to meet somebody or to try and get work in San Antonio. I would imagine that there have been some people that have asked my parents along the way maybe for work, but like I said, most of the time they have an agenda and they’re just crossing, they just happened to cross paths with my parents along the way.”