Monday, March 28, 2011

Honor Rob Krentz by strengthening border security efforts

One year ago on March 27, the son of Southern Arizona pioneers who lived and worked on land his family has ranched since territorial days was found murdered about 20 miles north of the international border. Rob Krentz was a true son of the American West—a rugged individualist who worked hard and loved his country. Sadly, he was a victim of our nation's failure to secure the border not far from his land. Evidence suggests the crime was committed by a drug smuggler who fled to Mexico. This individual remains at large and Arizona remains the main point for illegal drugs and immigrants entering this country. As part of the congresswoman's continued attention to border security, this week our office invited Congressman Ted Poe of Texas, a member of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, to come to Southern Arizona. Poe toured the border and met with ranchers—including Krentz's widow—to discuss their concerns. High among them are ways to address a major concern to our rural communities: a lack of reliable communications in isolated areas. Congressman Poe is working closely with Giffords' office on legislation to allow governments and organizations to apply for funds to extend mobile communications services into the ranchlands along the border. While smugglers have satellite phones that allow them to monitor Border Patrol movement, our law enforcement agencies are unable to communicate with each other effectively. In large areas they cannot get a radio or cell phone signal. Ranchers are unable to alert law enforcement when they see illegal activity. As was tragically the case in the murder of Krentz, the lack of reliable signals creates a significant safety problem for people who live and work along the border...more

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