A week ago today, third-generation Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was murdered on his ranch 15 miles from the Mexican border. Border Patrol and sheriff’s deputies followed the assailant’s tracks back to the border. It may be too much to hope that our national self-delusion about border security on the cheap also died that day.
The myth of border security is the grand self-delusion of our governing class, but Obama’s secretary of homeland security has fortified this delusion with persistent lies about the border fence. It’s time to stop the lies and face the truth: We have no border security.
The belief that our border security is “imperfect but adequate” is a gold-plated bipartisan charade, the kind of charade that never goes out of season in Washington, D.C. There are Republicans as well as Democrats who perpetuate the lie of border security. Why? It allows the amnesty parade to move forward while denying there is any price to be paid. Dick Armey, Grover Norquist and Lindsey Graham are prominent Republican cheerleaders in this farce.
Rob Krentz was not a crusader; he was not a Minuteman or a political activist of any kind. He was a rancher whose family roots in Cochise County go back to 1907. Over the past 15 years, like many Cochise County residents, he and his brother had spoken publicly about the financial and human costs of the rising tide of intruders crossing their land – the vandalized water lines, dead cattle, robberies, car-jackings, assaults and home break-ins.
The Krentz ranch is less than 15 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border, and on most of the border east of Douglas there is no real fence to halt intruders. For 15 years, like their neighbors, the Krentz family asked again and again for increased Border Patrol protection, and again and again their pleas were ignored. In February of 2003, I visited that region and met the Krentz family, and on March 25 of that year I spoke about him on the floor of Congress. I called him one of the “homeland heroes” in Cochise County who struggle to live out the American dream on the front lines of the border invasion. But despite the warnings, the invasion continued, and the lies about border security continued.
Open-borders enthusiasts in Congress and the media cannot allow the murder of Rob Krentz to be seen and acknowledged for what it is: an indictment of open-borders policies. Thus, the guardians of open-borders orthodoxy have kept Rob Krentz’s murder off the front page and invisible to most Americans. The last thing our Washington overseers want is an open and honest debate about the true state of border security.
The indisputable fact is that contrary to the official DHS border fence map, there is no border fence to interrupt the work of drug smugglers or thousands of illegal-alien trespassers on a 25-mile stretch of border directly south of the Krentz ranch. What Janet Napolitano and her few Republican allies insist on calling a fence is only a vehicle barrier, and it stops not one single intruder. I have seen the video from a hidden camera on one of the trails in that Cochise County corridor in early March. It shows a steady stream of intruders. That daily stream produces on average 500 to 1,000 border invaders each day. And that is but one trail of many. Do the math.
In the debate over amnesty in Congress in 2006 and 2007, Republican advocates like John McCain and Lindsey Graham discovered that Americans would not even consider the idea of another amnesty unless we first secured our borders. They discovered that 80 percent of Americans want secure borders, which meant more Border Patrol officers, more fencing and better use of technology.
At that point, the amnesty lobby had two choices. The government could do the right thing and secure our borders so we could then have a debate over what to do about the 15 to 20 million illegal aliens already here. Or they could pretend to secure the borders and hope no one noticed they were lying. We know which path they took. Congress passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, and the charade of building pseudo-fences began.
After Obama’s inauguration, even the modest and inadequate efforts of the Bush administration were put on hold by his DHS appointee, Janet Napolitano. New pedestrian fence construction was halted, and the expansion of Border Patrol manpower was reversed. There are fewer Border Patrol agents on the Arizona-Mexico border today than in December of 2008.
It’s not one death on the border that is the outrage. Our outrage comes from Obama’s and Napolitano’s contempt for the truth about border security, which is a contempt for the safety of our communities and our nation. Three border state governors have now called for Obama to send the National Guard to the border. The response from the Obama White House? They will “continue to monitor” the situation.
Napolitano has lost any credibility as the guardian of homeland security. She must go.