Rancher Rob Krentz spent his life working on his 35,000-acre cattle ranch by the border with Mexico in Cochise County, Ariz. His family had owned the ranch since 1907.
He died there last weekend, he and his dog shot by an illegal alien that he was trying to help.
The Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association immediately posted a $15,000 reward.
The Monday before Rob Krentz was killed, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, made a speech claiming “significant progress” in controlling violence along the border. It was a lie.
In 1999, Rob and his wife Sue, in an interview on PBS, described the Muslim prayer rugs and a Koran they had found on the ranch property. They recounted the time illegals broke into and burglarized their home. Yet Rob said he still shared water with thirsty illegals crossing his ranch.
Rob was like that. Neighbor Roger Barkett also runs cattle on his 22,000-acre ranch nearby and recalls Rob as a gentle, caring man who loved his animals, and, while opposing illegal immigration, had compassion for the illegals who crossed his land.
Ranchers in this remote area of the U.S.-Mexican border are few and far between, but they still maintain the Old West courtesies and respect for hard work and self reliance. But after 2000, the isolation turned the area into a favorite crossing for smugglers from the South. The smugglers are bold and well armed. They steal vehicles, invade ranch houses, trash the countryside, set fires, and bring all manner of contraband into the U.S.
Ranch buildings that had been unlocked for generations were locked. Ranchers herding cattle went armed for the first time in 100 years.
Repeated appeals to the state and federal government to do something to protect the area fell on deaf ears. Local Border Patrol Agents got a handle on the smugglers six years ago, but were pulled back by President Bush. A promised border fence was never built.
Today, a new lawlessness has spread in the area. The Minutemen, organized as a “neighborhood watch” on the border five years ago, recently disbanded citing increased violence from the smugglers. Incursions into the U.S. by what appears to be Mexican Army personnel protecting drug smugglers have become frequent.
Mexican drug cartels, emboldened by the Mexican Army failure to control its border cities, and more recently emboldened by Obama’s talk of a new amnesty for illegals, have extended their reach into the U.S.
Phoenix has become the kidnap capitol of the U.S. as gangs battle for drug markets. Rival gangs affiliated with the Mexican cartels control the drug trade in over 300 American cities and towns, according to the FBI. A teenager in a remote Maine town died last month of a heroin overdose supplied by her Mexican connection. Los Angeles officials confirm that extensive marijuana plantations have been established in public parks and forest lands around the city.
After the murder of Rob Krentz, Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer this week called on the President to heed her call (and that of the governors of New Mexico, California, and Texas) to place National Guard troops on the border to restore order. Arizonans were quick to point out that the governor could call out the Arizona Guard herself. What’s she waiting for?
Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry faced similar calls for action when U.S. consular employees were gunned down two weeks ago in the streets of Juarez, Mexico, across the bridge from El Paso, Texas. What’s he waiting for?
Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico is not waiting for Obama. He’s ordered state law enforcement to the Mexico-New Mexico border
Amnesty champion Arizona Sen. John McCain, facing a formidable challenge in the Republican primary from former congressman and border security advocate J.D. Hayworth, also called on President Obama to call out the National Guard and control the border.
Is all this outrage from politicians just more of the same blather we hear everytime some outrage occurs along the border? Or will Rob Krentz’ murder finally spark the public firestorm that will bring security to our border with Mexico.