The Price of Border Insecurity

By Randy Pullen

The murder of rancher Robert Krenz this last week on his ranch in southern Arizona, by a suspected Mexican drug dealer or human trafficker (Coyote) tracked back to the nearby Mexican border, was a tragedy in the making for 10 years.  Many of us who have been directly involved with attempting to bring illegal immigration under control along the southern border feared this day would come.

Mr. Krentz and his family are well known along the border as hard-working, God-fearing Americans with hearts of gold. Their property has constantly felt the pressure of tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing in their migration north.  Yet they had continued to act as good Samaritans, helping those who were in distress with food and water.

The pro-illegal immigration crowd would have us believe Mr. Krentz’s murder is merely the result of increased border violence.  They refuse to see any connection to the tens of millions of illegal aliens who have crossed our southern border in the recent past.  But for those who live along the border, and for those who have taken the time to visit, the truth is plainly obvious:  Our southern border has been under attack for years. The fact that we have avoided such a tragedy until now is shear luck.

As the Chairman of Prop 200 in Arizona, the citizens’ initiative requiring proof of citizenship to vote and to receive welfare benefits, I have been on the frontlines of Arizona’s and America’s immigration debate, and this is not the first time I’ve seen the open-borders, pro-Amnesty special interests attempt to deflect attention from the debate at hand.  I, myself, and many others have been subjected to personal attacks and racial slurs in our efforts to enforce the rule of law along our border as well as in our state, and such tactics are not likely to end soon.

Prop 200 easily passed on Election Day in 2004, with a majority of Arizona’s Latinos voting yes.  They believed then, as they do now, in the rule of law, and understand as we all do – Democrats, Independents and Republicans – that an unsecured, open border and millions of illegals entering our country each year is a formula for disaster.  Latinos and legal immigrants support our conservative values on this issue. It is their leadership who are out of touch with America.

What makes the Krentz murder so incredibly tragic is that it was avoidable.  Securing our borders is a federal problem that was, and is, solvable.  Unfortunately, the will to act in Congress and at the White House is simply not there.  The best illustration of our federal government’s commitment to inaction on border security, despite the risks it poses for American citizens, comes from President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, who would remark during her days as governor of Arizona, “Show me a 50-foot fence and I will show you a 51-foot ladder.”

But my response to such ill-conceived logic remains the same today as it was back in 2004: “Show me a guy carrying a 51-foot ladder and I will show you one lonely, tired hombre.”

Now, after the fact as far as Mr. Krenz is concerned, we are beginning to hear calls from congressional leaders to put troops on our southern border.  It is my hope these calls will not fall again on deaf ears in Congress and at the White House, nor be used merely as election-year tools of political gamesmanship.  When our National Guard has been sent to the border previously, they were deprived of a clear mission, actual authority to enforce the law, and the ammunition needed for their success.

In the past two years, drug and gang violence has soared along America’s southern border.  Let us honor the memory of Mr. Krentz by doing all we can to assure this tragedy is never repeated.

Randy Pullen is Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and Treasurer of the Republican National Committee.


  1. Let it be remembered that Gov Napolitano, Terry Goddard, and Raul Grijalva did their best to upset,delay and side track prop 200.

  2. This is how the Hayworth PR should have been written. I am not fan of Chairman Pullen for a lot of reasons but at least he addressed the issue respectfully and it did not look like he was salivating over the opportunity to take advantage of the tragic murder of Mr. Krentz.

  3. Iris Lynch says

    And we should not forget the many law enforcement personnel who have been murdered by illegal aliens; the many children who have been sexually assaulted by illegal aliens; the 6 who died horribly while waiting to make a left hand turn in front of Fort Huachuca, thanks to a speeding truck full of illegals…and on and on and on. Instead, this last weekend’s news was all about some militia types who haven’t killed anybody.

  4. Yea, all it takes is more pleading with the federal government for more fences and more Border Patrol agents. And who is going to pay for the bill?

  5. Thane Eichenauer Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 7:45 pm
    Yea, all it takes is more pleading with the federal government for more fences and more Border Patrol agents. And who is going to pay for the bill

    Hey! Glad you mentioned that! TARP money is still available and the bulk of the STIMULUS money hasn’t been spent yet either. If they haven’t used it by now, you know the government, they WON’T.

    TONS of money, BILLIONS just IDLE. Let’s create shovel-ready jobs building a FENCE. We have the crews at I-17, the forms, the bulldozers, just drive them down and start pouring.

  6. A little history on Mr’s Pullen and McCain.

  7. Fence barriers are the best way to control a border, a “force magnifier” as they say, allowing fewer people to control longer stretches more effectively than any patrolling with no fence can achieve.

    Fences that work:
    DMZ between North and South Korea
    LOC: Line of Control- between India and Pakistan
    The wall dividing Greek and Turkish Cyprus
    The wall between Western Sahara and Morrocco.
    All these long structures allow the building country to control and stabilize their shared borders. Cross-border infiltrations and attacks once the barriers were built have been reduced to nearly zero in all cases.

    Plenty of modern fances for reference and proof of their high effectiveness have been well-established.

  8. Glad to see Pullen back on point. Does this means he will stop sucking up to McCain, Kyl and Flake?

    There is a word for selling out for the hope of more money, Mr. P. It isn’t helpful to the cause or personally becoming.

  9. Thane Eichenauer Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 7:45 pm
    Yea, all it takes is more pleading with the federal government for more fences and more Border Patrol agents. And who is going to pay for the bill

    Unfortunately this time the people who paid the bill were Rob Krentz and his family.

  10. Rancher Rob Krentz was collateral damage in the immigration and drug prohibition war. If Wikipedia is to be believed there are 20,000 Border Patrol employees. How many Border Patrol employees are needed to make the border safe?

  11. Good question, Thane.
    With 2000 miles on our south and 4000 miles on our north, it becomes obvious that there are not enough. How many agents are actually out in the field ALONG the border at any one time is the real question you should ask …(the answer is not very many). You should also be asking how they are actually deployed and used. That decision is made by Ms. Napolitano, and it is obvious by her decisions that she has no intention of securing our southern border.

    If you, Thane, support securing our southern border, then I will take you at your word that collateral damage is acceptable, and that you would have no qualms about using force.

  12. A drug war on one side of the border is more than enough reason to install a proper fence ASAP. Lawlessness and anarchy are in no one’s local, regional or national interest, they have well-established bad histories of spreading if not contained.

    It’ll be a thousand times easier to do any border patrolling and policing with the structural and strategic advantage of a fence.

    “Stimulus” money went to massage parlors. It’s just taxpayer robbery to hand out taxpayer money for such pathetic frivolities and not use it for national security along the US-Mexico border.

    Americans can also do their part to support law-abiding Mexicans by giving up pathetic, self-centered druggie habits which feed the drug cartels.

  13. kralmajales says

    Thane and I dont agree on everything but he is right on this. Some of the most expensive govt. projects have been the war on drugs and the war on immigration. We have built walls, hired thousands of agents, and continue to sink loads of tax dollars into things like Operation Streamline and others.

    Doesn’t work folks.

  14. Phillip D says

    Thane is very wrong here: “Rancher Rob Krentz was collateral damage in the immigration and drug prohibition war.”

    Immigrants are not crossing our border because of a drug war or immigration war. They cross because the live in a failed state that doesn’t provide economic opportunities for its people.

    All you have to do is go to the border and look across. The problem is glaringly obvious.

    If your house was surrounded in a neighborhood by desperately poor people, do you think you could keep guard all day long and keep them off your property? Do you think anything you could do could possibly keep your property value from going down?

    If the situation was reversed, or say we lived in a failed state and we wanted to get into Canada to get a job or find food for our kids, do you think any wall or “force multipliers” could possibly keep us out? No. Mr Pullen embarrassed himself with what he said about Napolitano and her poor
    logic. His logic is poor.

    But he is right about one thing: Troops are the only answer. Not Border Patrol. Military Troops. And they need to Shoot.

  15. kralmajales says

    “But he is right about one thing: Troops are the only answer. Not Border Patrol. Military Troops. And they need to Shoot.”

    Yeah…cause they are allll a like.

    Unbelievable statement

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