The U.S./Mexico border in southern Arizona has become lawless. Criminals, bandits and international organized criminals are operating with impunity in the region. Their trades are burglary, home invasion, drug smuggling, human smuggling, murder, extortion and kidnapping. The organized criminals have been terrorizing northern Mexico for 20 years and have extended their operations into Southern Arizona for at least 10 years. They are ruthless and violent and they have now succeeded in creating terror in Southern Arizona as they have in Northern Mexico.
The level of fear and frustration from southern Arizona’s Ranching Families has been building for some time. The lawlessness reached an intolerable new level with the murder of Rob Krentz in March, 2010. At the time of his murder, a small group of individuals from southern Arizona who, 18 months before, had begun a comprehensive effort to identify solutions to the increasingly uncontrolled and dangerous problem of Border security, produced a plan which specifies concrete actions needed to establish Border security in southern Arizona and calls for a means to measure progress towards that end. This plan is a result of that effort. It is entitled the ROB (Restore Our Border) Plan in honor of the memory of Rob Krentz. The first ROB Plan was released in April, 2010, immediately after Rob’s death. This second version is an update reflecting changes in Border security conditions and in our understanding of necessary solutions and their implementation.
We do not pretend to have all of the answers. However, we do believe the actions items contained in this Plan have been vetted to the extent that they will enhance and provide security along our border with Mexico. They will begin to provide some semblance of lawfulness along the border.
The ACGA is providing this Plan first hand to all elected and governmental officials who have the responsibility of securing our Border with Mexico. We have directly requested implementation of the action items set forth in Section 4 below (the ROB Plan) which are subject to the duties and official responsibilities associated with their positions. We appreciate the cooperation and effort of the many public officials who have taken concrete action towards reestablishment of Border security since the first version of the ROB Plan was released. However, the Border is still not secure and many elements of the ROB Plan remain unaddressed or inadequately addressed. For the sake of our Nation, for the security and safety of, especially, rural southern Arizonans, most of whom are ranchers, we renew our demand for action.
2 Border Security Mission
Our demand for Border security arises from the fundamental responsibility that our Nation has to protect its citizens from foreign threats. In order to accomplish that on our southern Border, our government must:
• Improve U.S. homeland security and protect the individual freedoms and safety of U.S. citizens by eliminating illegal border penetration as a significant means by which homeland security threats can be initiated.
• Provide the US Border Patrol, local law enforcement and the judicial systems at all levels with full, coordinated capability to anticipate, detect, interdict and resolve every illegal border incursion, and achieve coordinated law enforcement capability to detain, prosecute and deport all detected offenders without placing unfair cost burdens on border states, counties, municipalities or individuals.
• Achieve operational control of the entire Southwestern U.S./Mexico border.
Operational control must be achieved before any legislative body pursues any form of Immigration Reform.
• The definition of “operational control is the ability to detect, identify, classify, respond to and resolve any border incursion within the respective Sectors of the United States Customs and Border Patrol.
3 The Border Security Baseline
• The U.S. Mexico/Arizona Border is out of control. Current security measures and Border Patrol and County law enforcement assets deployed in Arizona are insufficient to improve, much less correct, the situation.
• The U.S. Mexico Border must be credibly and sustainably secured and existing immigration laws must be judiciously enforced. Talk is over, time to act!
Achieving immediate Border Security is the most important critical success factor in protecting U.S. citizens from U.S. Mexico Border smuggling and the extensive amount of criminal activity caused by it. The unacceptable risks associated with not knowing who crosses the Border poses a grave threat to our Nation and increases the vulnerability to terrorist attack. The highly political and lengthy Immigration debate is a serious distraction in the battle to credibly secure the U.S. Mexico Border.
• Extrapolated, the number of burglaries, home invasions, fires,and property and ranch infrastructure damage to an urban area on a per capita basis or to a national disaster such as Katrina, the southern Arizona’s border would qualify for National Disaster Area financial relief and U.S. military presence.
• The cumulative costs and the ongoing financial burden upon Arizona’s rural border area residents and ranching operations attributable to illegal immigration and smuggling have become intolerable. The persistent dangers and costs are destructive to our ranches as ongoing businesses, destructive to the value of our ranches and the land of which they are made, and as Rob Krentz’ murder has sadly demonstrated, also destructive to our families and our lives.
4 Restore Our Border Plan – Action Items
In order to achieve Border Security, the action items which we demand are:
1. Immediately deploy operational units of the U.S. Military to the Arizona/Mexico Border to assist the US Border Patrol to deny illegal entry into the United States between the ports of entry.
2 Authorize the use of force by governmental officials in the interdiction of vehicles and all aircraft (including ultra lights) illegally crossing the U.S. Mexico Border.
3. Enforce all existing immigration laws both with law enforcement agencies and within the judicial branch. Implement Operation Streamline across all Border Patrol Sectors on the U.S./Mexico border.
4. Establish Forward Operating Bases (FOB) immediately adjacent to the U.S. border with Mexico. (We suggest at least one FOB every 12 miles). Work with affected rural residents to establish FOB locations and determining the need for additional sites.
5. Enhance the “Pursuit and Apprehension” policies for Law Enforcement to assure deterrence and protect U.S. residents and State authorities from potential harm. In the first instance, authorize the Border Patrol, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to use these enhanced policies to enforce existing laws and to interdict all border incursions
6. Add at least 3,000 Border Patrol field agents in Arizona by 2012. Assure additional incremental equipment is part of Field Agent deployment. Make available concomitant resources within the Department of Justice to meet the increased demands on the legal system from these additional agents.
7. The judicial and law enforcement systems which prosecutes Border related criminal activities must recognize and apply an enforcement mechanism that provides felony prosecution of as many detainees as feasible, including first-time entrants, with existing judicial resources and continuing expansion of judicial capacity as need indicates.
Penalties for conviction must bar any illegal entrant from ever working or receiving residency visa status in the U.S.
8. Increase permanent “Stone Garden Funding” for County law enforcement affected by Border security problems to provide additional fully – equipped deputies with all terrain vehicles and sufficient matching local judicial and penal system personnel, equipment and infrastructure expansion to the level that eliminates any unfair cost burden for Border security on Border States, counties and municipalities.
9. Expedite deployment of sufficient and appropriate communications technology, as needs are determined by Sector and Station Chiefs, to Border Patrol units operating in Arizona and New Mexico.
10. Require the Border Patrol to attains full time, around the clock border surveillance capability by means of electronic, optical, and other appropriate technology, together with necessary support personnel as determined by Border Patrol Sector and Station management. Assure additional incremental agents are deployed to operate and maintain this hardware and technology.
11. Replace outdated or ineffective air support resources with contemporary rotorcraft and small single engine fixed wing aircraft. Deploy air support on or near the U.S. Border. Ensure enough air support to monitor the Border and respond to calls from Border Patrol Agents.
12. Subsidize private communications infrastructure and equipment expansion, either through installation of new cellular telephone towers or other radio technology sufficient to assure near-complete coverage so that citizens living or working in remote areas along the U.S. Border and especially along known smuggling corridors have the capability to contact law enforcement at any time as needed.
13. Establish Citizens Advisory Boards in every Border Patrol Station and cooperate with rancher liaison groups within each Station to address security issues in rural areas of the Sector.
14. Establish seamless border enforcement from Florida all the way to San Diego without jurisdictional gaps occurring in areas between Border Patrol Sectors.
15. Increase the number of additional Arizona Horse Patrol Units, and fund them appropriately.
16. Streamline federal claims process for recovering damages caused by illegal alien burglaries, vandalism and ranch infrastructure/livestock losses, including damage to range resources, livestock, and losses from fires on both private and public lands attributable to the activities of illegal Border crossings.
17. Adequately fund State and Federal Attorneys’ Offices to assure timely prosecution of Border related offenses.
18. Track the achievement of Border Security by means of monthly disclosure of all crimes, by title and code, committed and suspected to have been attributable to illegal aliens or smuggling activity. Include in such disclosure statistics County law incidents.