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From the front lines: Ranchers speak out on border chaos

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 30, 2010 11:09 PM

I will continue to keep you updated on the investigation into Arizona rancher Rob Krentz’s brutal murder. The latest:

*Funeral services have been set for April 9-10 in Douglas.

*Police are working on theories about the shooter possibly belonging to “a drug cartel scout or a band of thieves terrorizing Arizona ranches.”

*Open-borders Sen. Johnny Come Lately McCain, in the political battle of his life, is now calling for the National Guard. Don’t read his lips. Read his border security-undermining, law enforcement-abandoning record.

*The Arizona Farm Bureau sends the following statement:

“The murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz this last weekend should not have happened and was preventable,” said Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers. He and his organization send their deepest sympathy to the Krentz family for their loss.

According to Rogers, the ranching and farming community along the border, have been asking for a secure border for many years. “Our members are the ones who see the illegal traffic including drug and human cargo smuggling coming across their farms and ranches.” Rogers explained that over the last several years, his members have reported coming face to face with these smugglers that are well armed and menacing. “It is time for the federal government to fix this problem before another one of our ranch or farm families are injured or killed. No family should have to endure what the Krentz family is experiencing.”

Rogers said inaction by Congress can no longer be tolerated. “The border needs to be secured,” said Rogers. His organization has long called for securing the border and fixing the worker visa program so we know who is coming into the U.S. and who is overstaying their permission to be here. “Fixing the worker visa program becomes part of securing the border,” he emphasized.

If this tragedy is connected to smuggling from Mexico, swift action is needed to make sure this will not lead to an escalation in Arizona of the violence associated with the drug cartel brutality now just south of our border. “Until Congress addresses securing the border, all necessary resources should be focused on Arizona’s border,” concluded Rogers.

Letters from ranchers along the southern border are pouring into my e-mail box. Here’s a sample of messages from the front lines:

From Michael in Florence, AZ…

Thanks for mentioning the story about Bob Krentz’ death. This hit my own family pretty hard at the nearby Riggs Ranch. We’ve been their neighbors for over 100 years, our own place established in 1881 in Dos Cabezas. This Government of ours just won’t provide the protection needed to secure this border, and the media is not even on the same planet with reporting about it. When the US Customs office located at the Maricopa BOT in Nogales got machined gunned last December by one of the cartels, not even the Arizona Republic did the episode any justice. The Fourth Estate doesn’t exist anymore; today, its just a propaganda outlet for special interests.

Thanks for your good work.

From Danielle…

Thank you for calling attention to the murder of the Arizona rancher. This is not an isolated problem. Families who have farmed and ranched on the US/Mexico border for over a hundred years. For many years, we farmed along side those on the other side of the border. Most people who crossed our properties were not a threat, but that has long since changed. We now find ourselves faced with a government that feels the issue is not significant, as well as our neighbors in the city who are more concerned about “immigrants rights” than our safety. While Bush’s fence project had a lot of problems, the section that crosses our property created a significant deterrent. Traffic decreased from over a hundred per day to a handful per week. The cartels don’t care how they get access to your property. If they can’t buy you out, they will kill you and your family.

Families who live along both sides of the border have been threatened and attacked for some time now by cartels. On the same weekend that the consulate worker was murdered, a young man from Fabens, Texas and his father in law were kidnapped and taken into Mexico. He had turned in a group who had moved onto his property and set up a meth lab to law enforcement. Both men were tortured for several hours before they were finally murdered and dumped.

Many families are sending their children, especially their sons, to live with friends or family away from the border so that they can attend school in relative safety without being intimidated into working for the cartels.

The cartels have been cultivating deep reaches into US communities for many years. They front legitimate businesses on this side of the border. Cartel members have used these “respectable faces” to gain influence and seats on school boards and city and county governments as well as working in many of our law enforcement agencies.

From Billie in CA…

Michelle,

…As a ranching wife, my heart goes out to Bob’s family and especially his wife Susan. No one outside the ranching community knows how hard a life this is ( in terms of physical work never being done). To those of us who love it, the price is well worth the benefits. But not for Susan Krentz. I cannot imagine what she must feel, knowing they have been robbed before, vandalized and terrorized.

While Obama and his minions wax poetic about health care ( and the so called threats of not having it) there is a hardworking woman who has been pulling her own weight for decades that now faces her golden years without her beloved husband and without any security for the future of her children or herself on the ranch they love.

Ranching families work hard as teams to get everything done to care for their animals. They are usually short on help considering all that needs to be done. I hope that Susan’s loss of her husband, her partner in the business and the head of a multi generational legacy is not lost in the reporting. Her life is forever changed and helping her find a sense of peace and sanity is what we all need to think about.

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