Monday, March 14, 2016



Border residents want Washington to listen
Ainslee S. Wittig 17 hrs ago 0
Changes needed on border
Ainslee S. Wittig

"We have experienced a tragedy that has changed our lives and the history of our families forever. Secure the border for my family and your family and our community and our country. We are demanding the right to live free and safe on our own land and in our own homes," Sue Krentz tells those at the Animas School Auditorium for a meeting regarding border security Thursday.
Resounding advice from packed meeting: Put Border Patrol on the Border

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. Among them were citizens concerned about the lack of safety and security living near the border and federal and state government and elected officials, looking to learn about their issues.

To sum up the problems the area faces, a video noted that in 2015, 1.6 million pounds of marijuana and cocaine were seized by U.S. Border Patrol. There were 17,500 agents in the Southwest area. About 331,000 Mexican citizens and 143,000 international (other than Mexican) citizens were apprehended.

Sue Krentz and her son, Frank Krentz, who live on the Krentz Ranch East of Douglas since1977, spoke on the murder of their husband/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 her family used to help groups of immigrants crossing their ranch.

"We approached them as Christians, even after we had our house broken into, out 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."

Sue said, "We are now witnessing brutal mob behavior and many have no intent to assimilate into the community. When we asked for better security on the border, were told security is not to be expected.

"Families on the border – our lives are expendable," she said.

"This is a problem that needs more attention than what is given to it," Frank added.

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."

"We used to see a lot of immigrants looking for a job and we'd give them food and water. But now we keep our distance. Drugs seem to be increasing and there's regular foot traffic and a lot of damage to our ranch.

"Border Patrol does a good job, but 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.

Hurt also asked for residents to be notified by Border Patrol when there are incidents with illegal immigrants, as "it exposes our homes when a person is desperate to get away."

Dr. Gary Thrasher, a large animal veterinarian who has provided veterinary services and herd health management services to ranches in Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas since 1973, spoke on animal health and border relations.

"Border Patrol needs to be on the international boundary, not in the 60 miles trip north of it. There are dozens of diseases that could enter the country and ruin our economy. We've seen Bovine TB transmitted between people and livestock and we had dairies (near the border) that have had to depopulate, sit for several years and repopulate, in order to eradicate the disease," Thrasher said.

"These baby calves are primarily raised by migrants. And we couldn't test these people for TB because it would be discrimination. It (and all the other diseases that can come across the border) is a concern for me and a lot of the country. What's even more concerning is (someone) trying to destroy our economy (by introducing disease). We need to get back to where immigrants come through an open door and we can protect ourselves and our country."

He gave the example of Hoof and Mouth Disease which destroyed the British economy in the 1990s, when an ethnic sausage meal at from Eastern Europe was infected at a restaurant, and "the leftovers were thrown to the hogs to eat. I spread from there. I cost them $20 billion in a year. That's how simple it can be."

Thrasher also said that in 1981 in Arizona, four border (horseback) riders "secured the border better than any other (option)" in border areas away from cities and towns.

Tricia Elbrock spoke on the border's economic impact for are businesses. Elbrock's family owns a water system and septic service company that serves ranchers, farmers and home owners and a mercantile that supples 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 (NM) 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.

"If the border is not secured, we'll be out of business. And it's not just our problem – it's everybody's problem. Property values will drop, our borrowing power will drop and farmers and ranchers won't be able to sell their property," she said.

"So go to your elected officials and see if they think the border is secure. (If they do) then vote for someone else!" Elbrock said. "We don't need sensors – it takes too long to respond. We need to double the horse patrol and patrol with helicopters and hound dogs to root them out. This is a war on drugs – put the military out there. And work together with Border Patrol and the state police."

After the meeting, Sue Krentz showed a T-shirt she had, that was covered with names and dates of people killed by illegal immigrants.

"Let's never have more names on a Stolen Lives Quilt or the back of a T-shirt. Stop this invasion!" she said.

Solutions from the border residents

• More agents on the border

• Address federal budget cuts – while parts of border security are cut, endangered species are budgeted for a $54 million increase, up from $7 million.

• Congress act within its power with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

• Use Playas, N.M. facility (owned by N.M. Tech) for a BP family hub

• Use Roosevelt Easement 60 feet along the border for safety use


6 suspects arrested; ton of marijuana seized
El Paso Times 7:17 p.m. MST March 11, 2016
marijuana packs

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized a ton of marijuana this week after spotting 15 men carrying large backpacks in the desert in Southern New Mexico, officials said.

At about 10 p.m. Tuesday, agents using night-vision equipment saw the group hiking north of the border near Antelope Wells in the Bootheel of New Mexico, Border Patrol officials said in a news release.

After following the group's tracks for three hours, agents arrested six men carrying packs, officials said. Drug-sniffing dogs found another 30 packages hidden in the desert. Agents determined that the other nine smugglers had retreated to Mexico.

The Border Patrol said that the marijuana had a total weight of 2,442 pounds with an estimated street value of nearly $2 million.

In a separate case Monday near Santa Teresa, agents arrested a man wanted on a sexual assault of a child charge out of Fort Collins, Colo. Jose Antonio Garcia Espinoza, 23, of Mexico, was one of four undocumented immigrants arrested in mountainous terrain. Garcia is at an Otero County prison awaiting extradition to Colorado.

— Daniel Borunda

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