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Tragedy Galvanizes Arizona Cattlemen Into New Push For Border Security PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Saturday, 03 April 2010
AFF Sentinel Vol.7#9
Border Security First, Immigration Reform Later

Arizona cattlemen are hoping that the tragic death of one of their own may finally be the catalyst to get action from government officials after years of border struggle.

The Arizona Cattle Growers Association (ACGA) organization has quickly raised money for a reward, met with state and national officials and aided the Krentz family in a time of need.

On March 27th, rancher Rob Krentz was shot and killed by a suspected illegal alien, who then made for the Mexican border. Ranchers along the border and for many miles inland have dealt with trespassing, repeated burglaries and illegals kicking in doors and invading homes and terrorizing families. But Krentz's death has galvanized the border communities like nothing before.

Politicians and pundits have been speculating about what issue -- bank regulation, energy or immigration -- the leadership would consider after health care. Frustrated and angry border ranchers are certain what should be next. While lawmakers are on Easter recess, many cattlemen might want to nudge their members of Congress regarding an issue we may soon be dealing with anyway.

Arizona ranchers want first things first. The primary job of local, state and national governments is providing for law and order, for the security of citizens' lives and property. Ranchers along the borders of Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico have not had that basic fact of life for many years. Not since the days of Apaches raiding on both sides of the border have rural citizens endured the lawlessness present on the border today.

"We need our governments - local, state, national and international - to restore law and security to our border, so that southern Arizona doesn't become what northern Mexico has, " the ACGA said in a statement.

The statement made a further critical point, given the difficulties the nation has failed to overcome in past immigration discussions and legislative attempts.

"We need to separate - in our thinking and in that of others - immigration reform from border security. The political mire and inaction caused by immigration reform and the amnesty debate or anything like it is a distraction.

"We must advocate - thoughtfully, consistently and persistently over a sustained period -- for reestablishment of law and security on the border."

The ACGA staff traveled to Apache, Az. March 31 for a Border Security meeting with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, other officials and local citizens. The staff reported a community "shaken to the core" and determined to get something done at last.

Besides Rep. Giffords, the meeting included J.D. Hayworth, representatives from the Border Patrol, ICE, staff from both New Mexico and Arizona Congressional offices and the U.S. Marshall's office. Television and print media was also present in force.

The Arizona Cattle Feeders Association and Arizona Farm Bureau joined ACGA in putting up a $15,000 Reward Fund. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau (ICE) has announced a $25,000 reward from the Homeland Security Department (DHS), totaling a $40,000 reward.

The home page for the Arizona Cattlemen's Association - the combination of the Cattle Growers and Cattle Feeders - has information on the reward, the Robert Krentz Memorial Fund and developments. The funeral service will be April 10, Douglas High School, Douglas, AZ., with a reception at the Gadsden Hotel. A calf donated by Sunny Shores will be auctioned and re-auctioned at the Willcox Livestock Auction April 8, with proceeds to the Memorial Fund. For additional information, call ACGA at 602/267-1129.

A statement released by the Krentz family called for a beefing up of the Border Patrol, county law enforcement and deployment of U.S. military forces to bring back security to border ranches.

The statement eloquently summarized the situation for the border country - and for America's security.

"We hold no malice towards the Mexican people for this senseless act but do hold the political forces in this country and Mexico accountable for what has happened. Their disregard of our repeated pleas and warnings of impending violence towards our community fell on deaf ears shrouded in political correctness. As a result, we have paid the ultimate price for their negligence in credibly securing our borderlands."

The hard-working ranching families and the border communities need help. Their homes, livelihoods and family lives have been invaded and attacked by illegals and criminal organizations. Isn't it time Congress gets pressure from us on this issue?

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