After Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was murdered on his ranch a month ago, I participated in a Senate hearing on border violence.
Here are just some of the highlights from those who testified: People who live within 60 miles of the Arizona/Mexico border have for years been terrorized by the daily invasion of foreigners who cross their property.
One rancher testified that 300 to 1,200 people per day come across his ranch, vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles, cutting down fences, and leaving trash everywhere. In the last two years, he has found 17 dead bodies and two copies of the Koran.
Another rancher testified that drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front … 1/2 mile behind are the guards, fully armed … 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs … behind the drugs 1/2 mile further are more guards. These people are violent, and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard from that day who talked about the drug trains. One man told of two illegals who came upon his property — one shot in the back and the other in the arm by drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily, this rancher listens to gunfire; during the night, it is not safe to leave his family alone, and they can’t leave their ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.
The Border Patrol is not on the border. They have set up 60 miles away with checkpoints that do nothing to stop the invasion. They are not allowed to use force to stop people who are sneaking across the border. The guards run around chasing them and, if they get their hands on them, then they can take them back across the border. I do not blame the Border Patrol — I blame Washington.
Approximately 15 percent of convicted prisoners in Arizona are illegal aliens. Over a 10-year period, nearly a third of our law enforcement officers killed on duty were killed by illegal aliens.
The federal government has refused for years to do anything to help the border states. We have been overrun, and we have the burden of funding the state services they use. Education and health care cost billions of dollars.
Our state is broke — we have a $3.5 billion deficit. We do not have the money to care for illegal aliens. It has to stop. We have the ability to stop this invasion. The border can be secured. We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and to protect the integrity of our country. There can be no talk of amnesty. We are being overrun to the point where we are becoming a North American Union rather than the United States.
We have lost our language — everything must be printed in Spanish, as well as English. We have lost our history — it is no longer taught in our schools. And we have lost our borders. The Arizona Legislature passed, and the governor signed, Senate Bill 1070 because of the frustration we feel over illegal immigration.
The media has distorted what SB1070 will do. It is not going to set up a Nazi Germany. SB1070 is an effort to give local law enforcement the ability — when there is probable cause — to determine if someone is here legally.
Federal law is very clear: if you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street to buy an ice cream cone.
The progressives in power in Washington, D.C., are angry because we dare try to fix this problem when what they want is to just let them come.
Maybe it is too late to save America. Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But, as an elected official, I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic.
Living in America is not a right just because you can walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility, and it starts with respecting and upholding the Constitution and the law of our land. Freedom is not free.