Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Border residents want Washington to listen

More than 500 people attended a meeting Thursday evening in tiny Animas, N.M., located about 45 miles from the border of New and old Mexico. Sue Krentz and her son, Frank Krentz, who have lived on the Krentz Ranch East of Douglas since 1977, spoke on the murder of husband and father Rob Krentz. Rob was killed March 27, 2010 by an illegal immigrant who was crossing his ranch. Rob was out checking a motor on the ranch, saw someone and went to see if he could help him in any way, Sue said.“Fifteen-hundred people have been killed by illegal immigrants since Rob was killed,” she said. “My message is we need to secure the border. We don't need to create new laws, we need to enforce the ones we have.”Frank explained that their family used to help groups of immigrants crossing their ranch. “We approached them as Christians, even after we had our house broken into, our vehicles and things stolen, our waterline broken. But after losing my father, all that has changed. We don't put ourselves in situations where we risk getting hurt.” Lawrence Hurt, a longtime rancher at Hurt Cattle Co. on the New Mexico border with Mexico, said he has “ranched here for 32-plus years and had 200 head of cattle stolen and taken across the border, his house broken into, guns stolen and his brother has been accosted by Mexican police. He wasn't killed, but we've seen the very real possibility.” “Border Patrol does a good job, but they need to work more closely with us. They need to be on the border, not 15 to 20 miles inside trying to catch them after they're already in. If we stop them on the line, there are less incidents,” he said to the crowd's applause. Tricia Elbrock spoke on the border's economic impact on businesses. Elbrock's family owns a water system and septic service company that serves ranchers, farmers and homeowners and a mercantile that supplies feed and materials in Luna and Hidalgo counties in New Mexico and Cochise County in Arizona. “We have 20 employees. On Dec. 7, one of our employees was kidnapped by illegal immigrants,” she said. At the time it was reported by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office that a ranch hand from the Animas area was on his employer's ranch when he observed a parked vehicle with two men inside. The ranch hand reported that he stopped to see what was going on, when the men said their vehicle was broken down and they then forced him to drive them to Willcox in his vehicle. The ranch hand was let go in Willcox and told not to report the incident. Elbrock said, “OSHA says we are to provide a safe environment for our employees. But how can we do that here? In a radio interview, they told me that Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) thinks the border is safe. I invite him to visit the border and see what happens here.” She added that due to the kidnapping, the business lost the truck and $10,000 worth of tools that were dumped, and will likely face higher workman’s comp costs and insurance premiums...more

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