[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 80 (Tuesday, May 25, 2010)]
[House]
[Pages H3814-H3821]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       THE BORDER SECURITY CRISIS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Murphy of New York). Under the Speaker's 
announced policy of January 6, 2009, the gentlewoman from Arizona (Ms. 
Giffords) is recognized for 60 minutes.
  Ms. GIFFORDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to address the border 
security crisis that is part of daily life in my southern Arizona 
district in Arizona's Eighth Congressional District. I am really proud 
to represent one of the most diverse parts of the entire country. I 
represent a district that is over 9,000 square miles and is one of 10 
U.S.-Mexico border districts.
  The U.S.-Mexico border has changed a lot over the years. I am a 
third-generation Arizonan. I represent a lot of people in my district 
who are multi-generational Arizonans. After decades of building up the 
U.S.-Mexico border in California and in Texas, there has been a 
systematic funneling of illegal immigration, the flow of traffic, 
illegally through southern Arizona. This has become the most porous 
part of the U.S.-Mexico border.
  So today, together, my constituents live in a situation on the front 
lines of a national border security crisis. We live and breathe the 
Federal Government's failure to secure the border with Mexico. Every 
day my constituents are subjected to home invasions and to burglaries 
and to cut water lines and to graffiti, an unbelievable amount of 
garbage and trash that's left behind by illegal immigrants who are 
crossing through the border, and by people increasingly who are drug 
smugglers, people that are human smugglers, the cutting of fences, the 
threats and intimidation by armed smugglers, and the violence that they 
experience on their own land, on their own ranches, their own property.
  In this hour, I am going to talk about action that I and others have 
taken along the U.S.-Mexico border here in Washington. But more 
importantly, I am going to talk about the lives of the constituents 
that I represent, the people of Cochise County, the ranchers who live 
on the U.S.-Mexico border.
  It's always been my belief that if the decision-makers here in 
Washington, if they could hear the stories, the impact that illegal 
immigration has on the lives of my constituents, that there would be 
greater action here in Washington, the decision-makers, elected 
officials, people in the administration, policymakers, that they would 
move to greatly enhance the security along the U.S.-Mexico border. So 
that's what we are going to talk about tonight.
  I think it's important to begin this hour with the most heart-
wrenching story of all, the tragic death of Robert Krentz, a fourth-
generation rancher whose family has been on his land for over a hundred 
years. Actually, the Krentz family has had their ranch before Arizona 
even achieved statehood.
  On March 27, Rob Krentz, who was working on his ranch, was murdered 
by an assailant who was later tracked to the Mexico border. He and his 
dog were both ruthlessly murdered on his land. They were left to die. 
They were shot. Law enforcement officials believe that Rob was killed 
by a smuggler.
  Next to me is a photograph of Rob and his brother Phil, the two 
Krentz brothers. This was run on the front page of a local newspaper, 
the Tucson Weekly. Frankly, the image tells it all. You see the two 
brothers, you see them in the tack room, their hands, their boots, 
their lives right there represented.
  Reporter Leo Banks wrote the companion story in which he interviewed 
Rob's family and the neighbors. Banks wrote the following:
  ``What has to be noted first is the inevitability of what happened. 
Something like the Krentz murder was coming, and everybody knew it. The 
stories residents told this newspaper, the frustration that they feel 
trying to keep property and families safe in smuggler-occupied 
territory were like a freight

[[Page H3815]]

train in the night. Down the tracks you see a faint light, coming 
closer and closer. On March 27 in Cochise County's big country a mile 
west of Paramore Crater, the train arrived. The aftershock has been so 
powerful, because the killing exploded the lie about a secure border 
that Washington, D.C., has been working hard to promote.''
  On its front page, the Tucson Weekly asked the question, ``Will the 
murder of a respected Cochise County rancher change anything on our 
border?'' Mr. Speaker, tonight I ask the same question. Again, will the 
murder of Robert Krentz on March 27, a respected rancher in my 
district, change anything on the border? Well, it has changed, and we 
know that today. The President has announced the deployment of the 
National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.
  I knew Rob Krentz. I knew his family. He participated in the meetings 
that I convened between ranchers and the Border Patrol. He was and is--
he was a family man. He was a good neighbor. And he was a friend to all 
who knew him.
  He was described as a humanitarian, who would give water and aid to 
illegal immigrants who suffered from heat exhaustion and physical 
injuries as they trekked from Mexico across his land. He was, like 
fellow ranchers out in Cochise County, a straight talker. And he, like 
them, saw their lives changed by the increased flow of illegal 
immigrants and the drug smugglers.

                              {time}  2200

  Tonight I will share additional stories about the ranchers in this 
area, and I will call on my colleagues to join me in demanding that our 
government step up and do more, the responsibility here in Washington 
to help protect its citizens. The safety and security and the defense 
of its citizens should be our primary focus in Washington, D.C.
  Mr. Speaker, the very first speech that I made on this floor, the 
floor of the House of Representatives in January of 2007, was precisely 
about securing the border. In some areas, border security has improved 
over time, and in many ways it has worsened. I've been proud to support 
legislation and appropriations that funded the border patrol and the 
Department of Homeland Security, including ICE, as well for increases 
in personnel and technology.
  Democrats and Republicans have worked together to give the Department 
of Homeland Security the resources they need, and we have seen those 
resources in the Tucson sector. I have fought to increase funding to 
local law enforcement programs through the State Criminal Alien 
Assistance Program, also known as SCAAP. When the President's budget 
eliminated SCAAP, I led the fight to restore the funding.
  And why this is important is that communities out in Cochise County 
and Santa Cruz County and Pinal County, as well as Pima County, they 
carry the brunt of this problem because the local law enforcement 
agents are oftentimes required to respond when a resident calls in need 
of help. They are responsible for a lot of the work that should be done 
by the Federal Government. The Federal Government has very increasingly 
not been able or not willing to reimburse the local law enforcement 
agents for the cost that they incur. We were able to augment the 
budget.
  I also worked to establish Operation Streamline. It's a program that 
finally reversed many years of the catch-and-release situation that we 
had down in southern Arizona. So instead of just apprehending illegal 
immigrants and then immediately deporting them back to the border to 
find them crossing over the next day, back and forth and back and 
forth, we are now in a situation that instead, we charge these 
individuals and we incarcerate illegal immigrants for 30 days, which is 
a big deterrent for someone who's trying to pass north.
  Last year and again this year, I introduced legislation with 
Congressman Sam Johnson from Texas to create a new mandatory electronic 
employment verification system for hiring employees. Our system would 
be a national employee verification system that would protect American 
citizens from identity theft and hold employers accountable for hiring 
illegal immigrants. The State of Arizona was the first State to 
authorize E-Verify, making it mandatory for all employers.
  But we've seen a lot of problems with E-Verify, plus the fact that 
this situation of employee verification should not be a State-by-State 
situation. We need to have a national solution, and that's why 
Congressman Sam Johnson and I have introduced legislation NEVA.
  Recently, with Congressman Brian Bilbray, I introduced a bill to 
crack down on the use of stored value cards, which drug cartels are 
using increasingly to launder money. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I have an 
example right here. This is an example of a stored value card that you 
can buy basically at any retailer. These stored value cards do not 
require any formal banking agreement. The threat assessment by the U.S. 
Department of Justice, the National Drug Intelligence Center, dubbed 
the cards an ideal money laundering instrument citing loose regulation, 
cardholder anonymity, and liberal limits on value reloading, withdraw, 
and spending on certain types of these cards. And again, you can go to 
a store and anyone can buy these stored value cards.
  We're also seeing more stored value devices like cell phones where 
money can be transferred, hundreds of millions of dollars, through 
these types of devices.
  According to a March 7, 2010, article in the Arizona Daily Star, the 
average amount of the 415 seizures on the southwest border in 2009 was 
$89,565, more than double the average seizure 5 years ago. That is why 
this legislation, the Stored Value Device Registration and Reporting 
Act of 2010, is so important. This is legislation that will include the 
stored value devices--either the cards or the cell phones--under the 
definition of a monetary instrument under title 31 in the United States 
Code. This will require cardholders to declare if they are carrying 
$10,000 on a stored value device to customs officers, because currently 
the Federal officials have absolutely no way of tracking whether or not 
this money is coming into the United States because individuals are not 
required to declare whether or not they have money on a stored value 
device.
  Mr. Speaker, at 6:20 early Sunday morning 2 weeks ago, the North 
American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, detected a 
low, small-flying aircraft in southern Arizona near the border with 
Mexico. NORAD immediately scrambled two F-16s to intercept the 
ultralight aircraft, shadowing it for 30 minutes until that small plane 
returned to Mexico. This is just another example of how the drug 
smugglers are getting ahead of us by using these small homemade planes. 
They stealthily enter our country illegally.

  Right before that, Congressman Dean Heller and I introduced another 
bill that will dramatically increase the penalties for the newest way 
to smuggle drugs, flying them in by ultralight aircraft. These single-
pilot aircraft are capable of flying low and can land and take off 
quickly. They are very difficult to detect. We have reports of them 
flying up to 200 miles into our country from Mexico. They are being 
used to bring drugs into our communities and represents the latest 
threat to border security. And if they can bring in drugs, they can 
also bring in other materials that can threaten our national security.
  I first learned about the illicit use of ultralights in a briefing by 
the United States Border Patrol. They told me that we needed to take 
action to crack down on the ultralight drug smugglers, and that's why I 
introduced the Ultralight Smuggling Prevention Act. Ultralights are 
typically used by people for sport or recreation and, as a result, are 
currently not categorized as an aircraft by the Federal Aviation 
Administration.
  In the 2010 National Drug Assessment released by the National Drug 
Intelligence Center, they identified ultralights as one of the newest 
ways drug cartels are using to smuggle drugs into our country. And 
according to the CBP Air and Marine Operation Center, or AMOC, based in 
Riverside, California, there were 193 suspected incursions into our 
country and 135--make that 136 with the incursion 2 weeks ago--by 
ultralights from October 1 to the present time.

[[Page H3816]]

  In October of 2008, AMOC detected an unidentified northbound low-
flying aircraft 12 miles west of Nogales. A CBP surveillance helicopter 
was launched from Tucson and the low-flying aircraft was identified as 
an ultralight. The pilot landed southwest of Marana, Arizona, with 223 
pounds of marijuana on board where Border Patrol was waiting to 
transport the pilot and the marijuana to another location.
  In November of 2008 near San Luis, field workers arrived for work and 
discovered a crashed ultralight, a dead pilot, and 141 pounds of 
marijuana. And in December of 2008, the pilot of an ultralight collided 
with power lines and crashed southwest of Tucson. The pilot had been 
carrying, this time, 350 pounds of marijuana when he crashed.
  It is time for the Federal Government to get ahead of the drug 
traffickers. We need to pass this legislation to outmaneuver these 
individuals who are trying to bring drugs into our country and to do us 
harm, and the Ultralight Smuggling Prevention Act will amend the Tariff 
Act of 1930 to include ultralight aircraft under aviation smuggling 
provisions.
  There is an unintended loophole that needs to be closed. We have to 
get law enforcement the tools that they need to crack down on the drug 
smugglers. And because ultralights are not currently technically 
considered aircraft, they do not fall under the smuggling provision.
  So under my legislation, individuals caught smuggling on ultralights 
can be prosecuted for using the aircraft in addition to being 
prosecuted for the drugs in their possession. When they are convicted 
of this new offense, they can receive a maximum penalty of up to 20 
years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The bill will establish the same 
penalties for smuggling drugs on ultralights as for smuggling on 
airplanes and in automobiles.
  Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, today is a good day for the southwest 
border. It's a good day for Arizona and the people of this country. 
President Obama has finally agreed to my repeated requests to deploy 
the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border. Today, the President 
announced that he will authorize 1,200 National Guard troops to be 
deployed to the southwest border. He will also request that $500 
million be included in the supplemental spending legislation for 
enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities.
  Just yesterday, I communicated with my two Senators, Senator McCain 
and Senator Kyl, as well.

                              {time}  2210

  I thought it was important that the Senate stand up for border 
security and include the $500 million in additional funding in the war 
supplemental making its way through the Senate this week. The 
fulfillment of my request is a clear sign the administration is finally 
beginning to take border security seriously.
  I first called for immediate deployment of the National Guard after 
the March 27 murder of Rob Krentz. Arizonans know that more boots on 
the ground, even if we are starting with 1,200, I requested 3,000, but 
this is a start, and just because this is our first step doesn't mean 
it's the last step.
  Washington has clearly heard our message. Republican Congressman Ted 
Poe and I sponsored a resolution calling on the President to send the 
National Guard to the border many weeks ago. We did another press 
conference today. This goes to show this is not a Republican or a 
Democratic issue. This is an issue that affects all of our constituents 
and all Members of Congress. It's an American issue.
  Tonight, again, I reiterate my request to the House, the Senate, and 
the President to step up and do more. We need to secure our U.S.-Mexico 
border, period.
  The Tucson sector, as we see on the map here, this is my district, 
and this includes the Tucson sector, which goes all the way over to the 
farther west part of the State, has been an area that has been 
confronted by narcoterrorists who have killed thousands of people in 
Mexico and have brought their violent ways to the United States and, in 
particular, to our area.
  My district has over 100 miles of border with Mexico, and the drug 
smuggling and the traffic has systemically been funneled through this 
area. Again, as we have closed off California and Texas, we have been 
funneling all of this activity through southern Arizona. And, as you 
can see, the more urban areas, the dense part like Tucson and Sierra 
Vista, are away from the border.
  But here along the line, you see an incredible vast amount of open 
space. And this is where the ranchers of Cochise County live. These are 
individuals who have had their ranches for hundreds of years, some of 
them, who are not being protected.
  The Tucson sector, and I would like to put up a chart here of the 
Tucson sector of the Border Patrol, because it accounts for almost 50 
percent of all the apprehensions of illegal immigrants and the drug 
seizures across all Border Patrol sectors in the Nation. This is to 
represent what we are actually dealing with in southern Arizona in my 
district.
  So as you read the chart from fiscal year 2005 up to fiscal year 
2009, in fiscal year 2005, there were 439,000 apprehensions in that 
year. And for every individual apprehended, we believe, possibly, one, 
or two, or maybe three, or maybe more get away. In fiscal year 2006, 
392,000 apprehensions; in fiscal year 2007, 378,000 apprehensions; in 
fiscal year 2008, 318,000 apprehensions; and in fiscal year 2009, 
241,000 apprehensions.
  We have seen almost a 50 percent decrease in the number of people 
that are being apprehended, which is a good sign. It shows that the 
border security measures that we put on the border are working.
  But it's an interesting story when you look at seizures in terms of 
marijuana. In fiscal year 2005, 488,000 pounds of marijuana were 
seized. And then it increases. In 2006, 616,000 pounds; in 2007, 
897,000 pounds; in fiscal year 2008, 816,000 pounds; and a banner year 
last year, fiscal year 2009, 1.2 million pounds of marijuana seized in 
the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol.
  When you look at cocaine seizures, fiscal year 2005 was an anomaly. 
We had 1,200 pounds seized. And then in fiscal year 2006, we had about 
100 pounds; fiscal year 2007, 177 pounds; up to 2009, 524 pounds of 
cocaine.
  You see, again, a decrease in the number of illegal immigrants and an 
increase in the amount of drugs, marijuana and cocaine, seized in the 
Tucson sector of the Border Patrol.
  Personnel in fiscal year 2005: The United States Border Patrol had 
2,339 Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector. We have vastly 
increased that to fiscal year 2009. We are almost at 3,700 boots on the 
ground Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector.
  In terms of prosecutions, in fiscal year 2007, there were 5,447 
prosecutions. That number has more than tripled in fiscal year 2009, 
with over 17,000 prosecutions that are now taking place in the Tucson 
sector because of the increased and enhanced enforcement activity that 
we have there.
  Operation Streamline, I talked about this earlier, making sure that 
we are actually detaining for 30 days illegal immigrants who are 
crossing into our border illegally. As we started up a couple of years 
ago, this is the work of many hardworking individuals. In 2008, 9,638 
prosecutions, and in fiscal year 2009 over 15,000 prosecutions with 
Operation Streamline. That sounds like a lot until you go back and look 
at the number that in 2009 we had 241,000 apprehensions.

  I would like to now relate in the words of my constituents what we 
are actually dealing with along the border. And I really believe that 
the ranchers out in Cochise County speak for themselves the best, and I 
asked them to submit stories to me of real accounts. And I have 
collected their letters over the days and the weeks and the years that 
I have served in this capacity.
  This is a letter that was sent to me following a community meeting 
that I convened at the Apache schoolhouse 4 days after Rob Krentz was 
murdered. The author wrote, I am angry. I had been operating at a slow 
simmer for some time now. Then last Saturday, when he was working on 
his ranch, Rob Krentz was murdered in cold blood. He was shot along 
with his dog. Now I am more than angry. Rob was a fourth-generation 
rancher in Cochise County. Friends and family, some with hunting hounds 
and horses and every kind of law enforcement official that we have, 
went into an all-out search mode for his killer, but the killer had a 
nearly 24-hour headstart on them by the time they found the body.

[[Page H3817]]

  They followed his tracks to the new fabulously wonderful, 
multibillion dollar and completely ineffective fence at the border and 
then into Mexico. They returned to their homes and jobs sick that they 
could not catch this killer before he made it back across the border. I 
have known Mr. Krentz and his family for many years and considered them 
friends. We are not close but have become friends largely because of 
common beliefs and issues that arise from living in these huge arid 
landscapes. Most of us here have what the general population would 
consider conservative leanings when it comes to politics. We prefer and 
have to take care of ourselves for the most part. We do not have the 
option of calling for help in emergencies much of the time because we 
do not have phones, radios, or cell service when we are out in the 
landscape or on isolated roads. When you live here you have to be 
prepared to handle your own emergencies. It is expected that may 
include a snake bite, a car wreck on an isolated stretch of the 
highway, a neighbor with car trouble. That sort of thing.
  But for the last 4 years or so, that has included illegals that carry 
fully automatic weapons. That is a little tougher to prepare for, 
especially when official response time is 1 to 4 hours and the official 
that does respond is usually alone and only allowed to carry a measly 
pistol to respond with.
  Two years ago a Bureau of Land Management fire crew was pulled off a 
fire when a fire they fought flushed 17 illegals out of a canyon, and 
they were all carrying automatic weapons. Most of us have guns, as did 
Rob Krentz. His was found in a scabbard on his Polaris Ranger where 
they found his body.
  The people who killed him, according to a garbled radio message his 
brother received, appeared to be hurt and needed help. That bit of 
acting may explain why Rob did not have his gun out and ready to use.
  Just the day before Rob had helped Border Patrol officials with a 
drug bust on his ranch. More than 300 pounds of marijuana was 
confiscated. Was the killer one of the thwarted smugglers seeking 
revenge? We do not know and probably never will.
  The people that I represent have told in person and on phone and in 
emails that this is the sort of situation that they are facing on their 
ranches.
  Like the story of Kelly Kimbro and the Glenn family. They have the 
Malpai Ranch, very, very close to where Rob Krentz' ranch is. On May 14 
of this year, a couple of nights ago, a half-mile east of Airport Road 
in Douglas, 10 of the concrete filled 6-inch steel casings that serve 
as uprights on the border fence were cut off at the ground with cutting 
torches and that piece of fence removed for a drive-through.

                              {time}  2220

  Our friend was called down to go down there yesterday with his boom 
truck and try to hoist it back into place. I know how to use a cutting 
torch. When you try to cut into something filled with concrete, it is 
nasty and dangerous and very hard work. My point is that it would have 
had to take hours or days to do this. It is on the border road, one-
half mile from Douglas. If the border was being patrolled . . . one 
more instance when it is not. This is no longer a laughing matter. What 
the heck is going on? Why did this have to happen?''
  This is a story from May 16. This is a story from Wendy Glenn: ``Last 
summer, our well on the border had a solar panel stolen from it right 
between the border road and Geronimo Trail Road. The control box, float 
and wire were taken also. It was taken and carried out by a fellow over 
a mile on the border road before he went into Mexico. The fellow had to 
climb up and unbolt it and let it down to the ground and then had to 
carry it off. Surely he had to have been seen by some Border Patrol 
people as all this happened.''
  Other reports coming from Susan and Louis Pope on May 18: ``Last 
night, there was a large group that crossed our lower place on the 
State line between Arizona and New Mexico. As far as we know, they are 
on their way north. Tonight, we had the illegals talking on the radio; 
they're making plans about tomorrow morning.
  ``There are at least two groups coming up the west side of the 
Pelloncillos Mountains. There are also groups on the south end of the 
Chiricahuas.''
  Here is an email from May 19: ``Today resulted in recovering several 
bundles of dope, but since air support was not available, the mules got 
away. Just as soon as the Border Patrol left the area, the spotter was 
on the radio again guiding and gathering the group back together. Two 
loads of dope came down the highway. They crossed out of Arizona into 
New Mexico, and the Hidalgo County Sheriffs Department caught one and 
the other got away. We understand that the Lordsburg Border Patrol will 
get two helicopters next week from the New Mexico National Guard, but 
they cannot cross into Arizona to help with the Border Patrol here.
  ``Now guess where all the illegals will wind up? Yes, you are right, 
in our back yards. We want everyone to know that there is not a road on 
the border in the Pelloncillos Mountains. The horse patrol has a vital 
part in helping stop the crossers, but air support is absolutely 
critical.''
  Another email from May 19: ``It is 9 p.m., Sunday, May 19. I just 
found out that there are no night scopes available for the area from 
the New Mexico line to Douglas, 50 miles, tonight. Just one mobile 
surveillance system in New Mexico, another mobile surveillance system 
five miles north of Douglas, and one MSS, as well, close to the border, 
about 15 miles east of Douglas. The Border Patrol is just about blind 
tonight. There are supposed to be four units, but not tonight. We need 
to get these people some help.''
  I'd like to show an illustration of, again, what some of the 
situation looks like in terms of having illegal immigrants that are 
coming into the area. The following email comes from the Stroller 
family, who are winter visitors in my district. Given the dangers that 
they now face on their land in Arizona, they have made the difficult 
decision of not returning to our State. This is from May 18: ``Hello, 
friends. It is with great regret that we've decided to leave our little 
Arizona winter retreat. It has been with much thought that we have 
decided not to return. We worry about you, our friends, and wish that 
you had the flexibility that we have to not be there during this 
dangerous time.
  ``Whether you are fearful for your safety or not so much is of little 
consequence as to how we are feeling. We worried when hunting this 
winter or just walking next door on our 160 acres, will we be 
confronted by a camp of illegals? What will we do with one shotgun, one 
camera, and four dogs? Will Louis, that just dashed out of the doggy 
door at midnight barking madly, will he come back, or will we find him 
in the morning with a bullet in his head?
  ``Guess what we're trying to say to you is we don't want to do this 
anymore. It isn't worth the possible consequences. We will miss the 
magnificent views, but even more, we will really miss you. Thank you 
for the wonderful years.''
  Another story that I heard at the Apache Schoolhouse, the ranchers 
and other residents of this beautiful part of the country have seen 
terrible changes over the past few years, and they have been calling on 
their government to take action to protect them and to finally secure 
the border. Their plea was well summarized in a letter that was 
recently personally delivered to the Governor of Arizona and to us, the 
congressional delegation. In the email he said: ``Over the past 8 
years, we have experienced many break-ins, burglaries, and attempted 
home invasions. Two of the attempted home invasions occurred just last 
month.''

  He says: ``As someone who actually lives on the U.S.-Mexico border, I 
am here today to share with you a partial account of my family's 
experiences living near the Arizona-Mexico border for the past 10 
years. We are a fifth-generation Arizona ranching family. By no means 
is this account all inclusive, but is intended to give you an 
understanding of the mayhem and the trepidation we are going through 
every single day on the borderlands.
  ``My words are offered to you in good faith and are not intended to 
be inflammatory toward any culture, nationality, group, or agency, but 
I refuse to weave political correctness into their meaning, which has 
so far distracted from the important work of credibly securing our 
borders first for the citizens of Arizona and the United States.
  ``Border security has been promised for so many times over the past 
30

[[Page H3818]]

years without delivering security and safety to our families. These are 
my opinions on the matter. The U.S.-Mexico border is out of control and 
has been for a very long time. We laugh out loud when we hear the 
politicians claim that the border is more secure. This uninformed view 
is a political fairytale. People in Washington making these statements 
don't live here. And if they did, they would have a far more different 
view from the remedial policies which need to be immediately actioned 
on our and the country's behalf to secure the Arizona-Mexico 
international boundary.
  ``Our small ranch is located adjacent to the Chiricahuas National 
Wilderness. Presently, I'm sitting in my new ranch house, which looks 
more like a fortress than a home. Day and night we suffer home 
invasions, burglaries, multi-thousand-acre fires, some as large as 
20,000 acres, ranching infrastructure and personal property destruction 
perpetrated by both illegal aliens and drug smugglers. They break into 
our homes and ranches, they steal jewelry and firearms, ammunition, 
money, small cartable electronics to fence in U.S. interior cities and 
Mexico, maliciously vandalize our property. They destroy our livestock 
and so on.
  ``In 8 years, our home has suffered over 15 illegal alien and 
smuggling burglaries and four attempted home invasions; intolerable 
when you consider that I'm here most of the time. I gave up filing 
police reports. Why bother?
  ``The latest attempted home invasion occurred last Saturday when we 
were invaded in the early morning by an illegal alien and an accomplice 
while my wife was asleep. The perpetrators were about to enter and 
burglarize our house and who knows what else. They were later caught by 
our hardworking Border Patrol and the Cochise County sheriff. We 
understand their backpacks were full of stolen items from burglarized 
homes in Portal, and some, if not all, had prior arrest records.
  ``Last month, another smuggler entered our home and confronted my 
wife in her utility room before he was run off. And as I write this 
account, the Border Patrol and the Cochise County Sheriff's Department 
are on the mountain searching for several groups of illegal aliens.
  ``How many American citizens would tolerate a situation like the ones 
that we experience every single day? Why are we not able to live in 
safety and in security in our own homes like the rest of you in Tucson 
and in Phoenix and in Washington, D.C.?
  ``Many of the homes and ranches in the Portal area stretching to 
Douglas have been burglarized, vandalized, and invaded by illegals. No 
one, and I mean no one, dare leave their homes unprotected for longer 
than a couple of hours at a time. Can you imagine worrying about 
leaving your home to attend your son's out-of-state wedding for fear it 
is going to be burglarized and trashed upon your return? Not a pretty 
picture missing such important parts of your family's lives.
  ``As I read my statement upon a risk of attending this meeting, I 
wonder what I will find or face upon my return to our ranch later this 
evening. There are hundreds of these people illegally crossing through 
our valleys 24/7. It is a very scary situation when they're kicking in 
your door and the sheriff is located over 70 miles away and the Border 
Patrol is undermanned and under-equipped, and they can't respond in a 
timely basis to your call; when they're pursuing multiple illegal 
immigrant groups through the mountains 24 hours a day--yes, a very 
dangerous job we've asked them to do.
  ``From personal experience, illegal immigrants and smugglers have 
absolutely no fear of law enforcement, Border Patrol, nor State or 
Federal officials; in fact, U.S. citizens seem to be held to a higher 
enforcement and prosecutorial standard than illegal immigrants arrested 
for the same criminal activity.

                              {time}  2230

  You will appreciate the cynicism this creates for border residents 
when the same illegal aliens and smugglers are caught time and time 
again after being released back into Mexico.
  If apprehended, one of the first questions they often ask the Border 
Patrol is: ``Which State am I in--the Ninth Circuit Court or New 
Mexico?'' They sure hope it's Arizona.
  The large numbers of undetected illegal aliens and north-southbound 
smugglers using our vast, remote desert mountain country are never 
counted in numbers Washington is using. You can't count what you can't 
catch, and if Border Patrol apprehends 300,000 annually in the Tucson 
sector alone or if collectively they catch one in four, maybe over 
800,000 or 850,000 have entered into the country illegally.
  I must ask if this is really a border which has never been more 
secure. I don't think so, and neither do the majority of the American 
people.
  This letter goes on. It talks about what's happening with the Border 
Patrol. Yes, it's true that we've had a lot of press on this, but 
unfortunately, up until today, we have not had a lot of action. The 
Arizona Cattle Growers have put together an 18-point border security 
plan. It's available on my congressional Web site. It's available on 
the Arizona Cattle Growers' Web site. It mandates that crossing the 
border illegally the first time is a felony charge for breaking into 
our country and that it prevents, for any reason, one from gaining U.S. 
citizenship or residency.
  The individual ends by saying, ``For those of you who worry about 
`militarizing the border,' I can only say you're too late.''
  There are a couple of additional stories, one being of Ann and Paul 
Palmer.
  They say here, ``Let me give you yet another perspective from a 
farming family.''
  On May 21 of this year, our confidence in the sheriff's department 
and in the Border Patrol is right at 0 percent. Within the last 8 
months, we've had two different vans abandoned on our farm. The first 
time, they were running from the sheriff's department. On that 
occasion, the van ran through several fences and way out into a field 
of growing corn before it got stuck in the mud. At that point, the 
fugitives were on foot. The sheriff's department and Border Patrol were 
too scared to go into the cornfield to get them. They said they didn't 
feel safe leaving their vehicles and looking for people in the dark. So 
they left. This all happened 200 yards from our homes.
  It's plain to me the only protection for our families comes from my 
son and I.
  The following day, my son and I had to get the vehicle out of the 
field. Then when the sheriff's department did come back in the 
daylight, they gave it a cursory inspection. They told us that we 
should check to see that there was no dope before we pulled it out. 
Needless to say, this caused some serious economic damage to our having 
this vehicle. I mean, not only was that crop destroyed in that area, 
but there were deep ruts in the field and the labor and the materials 
to rebuild the fences.
  The second occasion was after harvest. Many of us pasture cattle on 
our cornstalks, so there are large numbers of cattle in the cornfields. 
Late one night, our neighbor called, informing us that a van had run 
through several of his gates and was coming our way. He had three 
separate herds of 500 head, and we had one herd of 600 head of cattle 
that could have all been mixed up had our neighbor not been on the 
ball. That would have been a several-day sorting job. We got the van 
stopped before it went through the last fence. The people jumped out 
and ran.
  By the time the sheriff's deputy, who had been lost, got there, we 
had tracked the people and knew which way they were going. This time, 
the sheriff's department said that, if we could give them the van--a 
1977 Chevrolet--they would pursue them, and if not, they would not. I 
pointed out, by that time, that, if they got a record, the illegals 
would be gone. The sheriff's department left. The Border Patrol was 
supposedly coming with a tracker, but never showed up. There was no 
interest at all in apprehending these individuals, and, once again, 
labor and materials to rebuild the fences were expended by me and my 
family. I could go on and on, but you get the point, he says. From our 
standpoint, there is no will to do anything about the problem. The 
Border Patrol should be on the border, not 40 or 50 miles north of the 
border.
  Willcox recently got a new Border Patrol station. That's 80 miles 
north of the border. They keep horses near the Willcox station. What 
are they doing so far north? The horse patrol comes in after a part of 
a day because they don't

[[Page H3819]]

have enough horses to ride all day. A private company or an individual 
simply cannot operate as efficiently as Border Patrol and stay in this 
business. Throwing more money at a poorly laid-out plan just means that 
you have a more expensive poor plan.
  Here is another story by Ruth Cowan, a rancher near Tombstone, 
Arizona. This account took place on June 7. Fence run through. June 9, 
fence run through and cattle on the road. June 10, 20 arrests. June 13, 
fence run through and 20 arrests. June 14, 60 arrests. June 15, fence 
hit and two runners.
  She talks about calls about cattle on the road both day and night, 
personal damage in 1 day, including three $150 gates that were run 
through, a float broken off losing 10,000 gallons of water in one spot 
and a faucet I installed to keep them from breaking the floats left 
open and the submersible pump pumping our precious desert water on the 
ground all night, two gates left open and my bulls were gone.
  Some additional complaints.
  My travel trailer has been broken into, my truck stolen, and the one 
they couldn't steal, which is a diesel, I had to get repaired. My 
insurance rates have gone up. Field days for the most requested field 
trip in Douglas, Arizona, cancelled due to discarded pornography, 
weapons, feminine hygiene products, trash, and associated health 
issues.

  I believe we have an image of that.
  The economic damage to my rangeland is devastating. Rangeland is 
being trampled by thousands upon thousands of illegals. Native 
vegetation can't grow.
  Here we have images of the debris.
  Lost income from cattle because they're now wild, and buyers give 
less. My new $2,400 bull ate a plastic sack and died 4 days later. 
Disease from my neighbor's cattle and broken fences resulted in my 
animals' aborting their calves, and then the cows sold at half price. I 
can't even get anyone to come look at the ranch because it's south of 
I-10.
  Invasive weeds have been introduced. One seed pod can produce over 
200 seeds and then hang on the clothing and blankets of individuals who 
are smuggling through. They can fall off vehicles if they travel off 
road. On State trust land, I have been informed that it is the 
landowner's/lessee's responsibility to control these weeds that are 
being brought in.
  The deer herds on my ranch have decreased as I have three drug and 
illegal routes splitting herds and sportsmen very angry because I have 
totally locked off my private property in an attempt to slow the 
traffic.
  All the trash left behind washes downstream to lower watershed into 
the bird sanctuary. The Clean Water Act directs businessowners to 
decrease nonpoint source pollution. Yet this trash problem I have no 
control over. I had nine at-risk youth camps with counselors for 5 days 
out to pick up the garbage. Within 2 weeks, it was right back there. 
Who paid for this? The American taxpayer. We have sent our men and 
women all over the world to protect others, and yet the same government 
refuses to protect my rights as a U.S. citizen.
  This is a story from John Ladd. The Ladd family is a very well-known 
ranching family in southern Arizona. John Ladd has a ranch along the 
border right where some new fences have been constructed.
  John tells me that he can ride for hours along the fence without 
seeing a single Border Patrol agent. He has shown us where smugglers 
have cut through the new steel fence and have used a ramp to drive 
their loads of drugs up and over the fence.
  Imagine that.
  He has filmed scores of people crossing illegally through his land, 
and reports that there has been no less than 49 groups visible from his 
kitchen window last year. The last group was seen just a few days ago.
  The murder of Rob Krentz has brought a lot of attention to the border 
in Cochise County, but it is important to note that the smugglers' 
impact on ranchers north of the border and into Pima County is a very 
unique situation.
  A couple of additional stories.
  This was sent to me by the Coping family, Robert and Cynthia.
  They wrote, My husband, Robert, and I purchased our ranch northwest 
of Marana, Arizona, in 1995. In 2000, President Clinton proclaimed the 
Ironwood Forest National Monument, which now surrounds our ranch. We 
spend six nights a week there, just the two of us. With the remoteness 
and animals needing daily care, we sometimes travel separately and 
leave just one of us alone on the ranch. Our nearest neighbor to the 
northeast is La Osa Ranch, 8 miles away. To the south, the Silver Bell 
Mine headquarters is about 10 miles distant. To the southwest, Queens 
Well is about 25 miles. To the west is the Jet Ray Ranch about 10 miles 
away.
  This is a part of the district that is not directly on the border, 
but it is impacted.
  We have no cellular telephone service at our ranch even though our 
provider, Verizon, advertises that we get coverage there. When we need 
to make a call, I have to get in my truck and drive 5 miles just to get 
a call to connect.
  Our neighbor owns the grazing lease formerly attached to our deeded 
property. His leases surround our property. The Tohono O'Odham Nation 
borders the west boundary of his allotments, and the fence line is 10 
miles west of our house.
  From 1995 to 2003, the biggest problem we had with illegal 
immigration was plumbing being destroyed and valves being left open at 
water tanks so that some 30,000 gallons of water would be drained out 
onto the ground. This can be deadly to cattle. It can drain entire 
wells.
  Illegal vehicle crossing from the Nation to the Ironwood monument 
started becoming problematic and created environmental havoc in about 
2003. Vehicles heavily overloaded with people began parading past our 
house at all hours of the night--pristine areas filled with trash, 
tremendous environmental damage from cross-country motorized traffic.

                              {time}  2240

  The BLM has posted accountings of the cleanup costs online.
  With the murder of Rob Krentz, our compassion for illegal immigrants 
in distress has been compromised by our fear for our own lives. This 
area is very deadly, he goes on. Chuck is out numerous times riding 
horseback in the desert. I have come across trees with women's 
underwear hanging from them. The threat to women that are crossing 
illegally as well is something that is not heavily reported, but we 
know it happens.
  Drug smugglers come up north through the reservation. They steal 
horses, in this case, two horses from different ranches on the 
reservations. Then they travel north of a wash located about a mile 
west of our house. They pass under a loose fence and then head north, 
cutting a hole in the county ranch boundary fence.
  Those were the early days of what now is major vehicular traffic and 
drug smuggling through the Tohono O'odham Nation, of which the entire 
eastern fence line runs across the western boundaries of now what is 
the Ironwood National Forest. This individual writes that the smugglers 
are now using stolen vehicles instead of stolen horses.
  Mr. Speaker, I bring these stories forward, they are real stories, 
they are from real constituents, they live in my district, to emphasize 
to Members of Congress, members of the administration and to the 
general public the real problems that we are having down in southern 
Arizona.
  Yes, it is true that we have increased the amount of resources in 
urban areas. We have more fencing. We have more boots on the ground. We 
have more surveillance. But out in the rural part, where the land is 
vastly wide open, there is still a major problem.
  Before the community meeting that we had in Apache, I met with a 
representative group of ranchers and heard many of these stories 
directly told to me. They also had some commonsense recommendations for 
us, and these were recommendations that I included in two letters to 
the President of the United States and to the Secretary of the 
Department of Homeland Security.
  At that time, I called for the immediate deployment of the National 
Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, and I asked that five additional 
measures be

[[Page H3820]]

taken to address the increased amount of violence and to assure the 
residents that we would step up to provide the protection that they are 
entitled to receive from the Federal Government.
  I urged the President and the Secretary to deploy more Border Patrol 
agents. I looked at the budget being proposed by the administration to 
cut agents, and that was absolutely wrong. Not only do we not need to 
cut, we need to increase Border Patrol agents.
  We also need to include more horse patrol, and I am very pleased that 
the Tucson sector two weeks ago graduated another recent class of horse 
patrol, because, as you can see from these images, in some of these 
areas there are no roads. It is very difficult to access the remotest 
part of the desert, and horse patrol is the only way.
  I also urged the President and Secretary Napolitano to establish 
Border Patrol forward-operated bases in the San Bernardino Valley, 
again the most remote part of southern Arizona, right there on the 
border.
  As I was driving to that meeting, I was on the phone trying to 
communicate with people here in Washington to find that my cell phone 
service was completely cut out. Miles before I was even able to arrive 
at Apache, I found there was no cell phone service. So I have urged the 
President and the Department of Homeland Security to improve 
telecommunications among law enforcement agencies and among residents 
as well. We need more cell phone towers. We need to know the costs of 
the cell phone towers. We are working to get that information. And then 
I had submitted funding requests to make sure we can handle the cost of 
those cell phone towers.
  We also need to increase the deployment of mobile surveillance 
systems. I understand we have three new mobile surveillance systems 
coming to the Tucson sector today redeployed from other areas. That is 
a good first step, but, frankly, we need more.
  I also asked to form a joint agency task force to coordinate local 
border security efforts, because what we see happening oftentimes, for 
example, during an investigation, and I talked about some of the 
criminal activities that have been reported in my area, you will have a 
local law enforcement agent come out and do the initial investigation, 
and then at that point there is a handoff. So many different entities 
end up handling that case that we need to have a joint agency task 
force to coordinate what is happening.
  I have also since that time submitted a request for supplemental 
funding to increase personnel and technology on the border. I was 
joined by 52 other Members of the House of Representatives, Democrats 
and Republicans, in making that request. Again, yesterday I wrote to 
the two Arizona Senators asking that they support this request in the 
United States Senate.
  We know what we must do to secure the border. The people of Cochise 
County and the residents of southern Arizona know exactly what they 
need. So the time for talk is over. The people that I represent, the 
people that are American citizens that live on the front lines of this 
problem, they deserve an answer. We need to stop the drug cartels and 
the violence that they bring, and this will in fact not just help my 
constituents, but help everyone across the country.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about another story from 
another constituent, Peggy Davis. She writes here, My name is Peggy 
Davis. My husband Fred and I own a cattle ranch between Tombstone and 
Elfrida on Davis Road. As you can probably assume by the name of the 
road, Fred's family has been ranching this area for a long time. Our 
grandchildren are the fifth generation to live on this ranch.
  I have personally lived along the border for 37 years. I moved to 
southern Arizona when Fred and I were married in 1972. Up until that 
time, I had never encountered an illegal immigrant or even heard of 
the Border Patrol. It didn't seem like something that citizens were 
overly concerned about.

  On our ranch, we encountered immigrants occasionally, but usually 
they walked openly up to our home and asked for work or something to 
eat. I always fed them. I gave them water, sometimes medicine, and 
often gave them a few dollars for doing a small job for that day. I 
always treated them with dignity and compassion, as did most people who 
lived in that area.
  In the 1990s, something drastically changed. I began to notice that 
many of the immigrants I encountered were traveling in large groups and 
often had an attitude that left me feeling uneasy. She says, today I 
still provide water for them when asked, but I never give food or 
medicine, nor do I give them work. To do that would encourage larger 
numbers to walk through my land, leaving their trash and threatening me 
and my family.
  My husband is away from home quite often for several weeks at a time, 
leaving me home alone. In fact, he couldn't be here today because he is 
gone now working to supplement ranching income. This is necessary due 
in large part to the exorbitant costs to repair our land, our water 
tanks, our fences damaged by immigrants daily. Everyone I know 
experiences the same loss of value to their land and to their 
livestock.
  Peggy writes, I used to go for walks for exercise. I no longer feel 
safe doing that. I am armed at all times, she writes. I can't even feed 
my animals without having a firearm. And this is not unique. Most of 
the ranch women that I know that live in this area know how to use a 
gun and would use it to protect our families, make no mistake. She 
says, I don't ever want to have to use it. In fact, the mere thought of 
making me use it gives me anxiety beyond words. But what choice do I 
really have? I could call 911, but we all know by the time they would 
actually get to me, it would be likely too late.
  She says, I know most of the people that live here, and literally all 
of the people I know who live along the border area have at least one 
personal story they could tell where they were threatened or their 
animals or their property damaged. To go into all of them would take 
days or weeks. But this is time-sensitive. We are being invaded now, 
Peggy says, and something has to be done immediately.
  However, I do feel compelled to briefly tell you, when our daughter 
Marlo was in college, she was home alone. Fred and I were both in Texas 
on business. Marlo had gone to the barn one evening to feed our horses, 
and after coming back to the house and locking our doors, she heard our 
dogs barking in a way that alerted her that someone was nearby.
  When she looked out the window, she saw a man standing right outside. 
She noticed that he was holding one arm behind his back, so instead of 
opening the door, she merely cracked the window a bit so she could ask 
what he wanted. He told her that he wanted her to give him a ride into 
town. He said that he had a friend with him who was hurt and needed 
medical attention.
  When my daughter told him that she couldn't give him a ride, he got 
angry. He still kept his arm behind his back. He told her to open the 
door. And when she refused, he told her that he knew that she was home 
alone. She replied that she wasn't alone, that her dad was on the ranch 
and would be back at any minute. Apparently he believed her, 
fortunately, and left.
  When the Sheriff's Department arrived about 30 minutes later, they 
did a search on the premises and they found a large butcher knife 
missing from the butcher block in our guest house. The man's attitude 
and words were confrontational, and I truly believe that he meant her 
harm but was convinced that she really wasn't home alone.
  The current administration has claimed that the border is secure. If 
all of us here gathered up all of the trash, included the hypodermic 
needles, the toilet paper, the dirty diapers, the countless other items 
detrimental to our health, and took it here to Washington, D.C., and 
put it on their front yard at the White House, perhaps then the 
President would conclude that the border is indeed not secure.
  My husband and I have talked at length with friends, with neighbors, 
law enforcement, Border Patrol, Congressmen and Senators over the years 
about this problem.
  Rob Krentz, Peggy writes, was a personal friend of mine. He was a 
kind and compassionate man, as evidenced by his final act as a citizen 
of our country. He stopped to help someone who he thought was in need, 
and he got repaid for his kindness by losing his life. Please don't 
allow his life to be lost in

[[Page H3821]]

vain, but help us convince the government that we must solve the 
immigration problem with swift and firm action. I do admit that many of 
these people are desperate, but so are we.

                              {time}  2250

  When you mix desperation and fear on both sides, you create a 
volatile situation where violence endures.
  Mr. Speaker, these are stories from the people that I represent who 
feel that their government, frankly, has abandoned them. They're angry 
and they're frustrated. I'm angry; I'm frustrated. We need action, and 
we need it now.
  We can spend billions of dollars on conflicts in other countries, 
billions of dollars to secure other borders across the world to protect 
other citizens from other countries in places and far-off lands. But if 
this Congress is truly the people's House, then we must listen to the 
people. And they are asking for our attention, and they are calling out 
for help.
  Mr. Speaker, I show you a sign here. It's a photograph of the Forest 
Service. It's a warning sign that cautions the citizens of southern 
Arizona. It's an official sign to warn hikers of the dangers of the 
smugglers on public land.
  When I think about citizens that have to see signs like this on their 
property, of being warned about the possibility of the violence, of the 
destruction, of the threats--it says: ``Caution, smuggling activity is 
common in this area because of the proximity to the international 
border. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.'' And then there's 
information in case of emergency.
  I would suggest that the Federal Government puts up these signs and 
the Federal Government should actually do something about the problem. 
And so I ask my colleagues to join with me for once and for all to take 
the necessary steps that we need to take.
  I applaud the administration today for taking action. The deployment 
of the National Guard to our U.S.-Mexico border is a first start. The 
$500 million in supplemental funding to the U.S.-Mexico border will be 
greatly welcomed.
  But we have no greater responsibility than to carry out the duty of 
protecting our citizens. Hence, Mr. Speaker, I believe that we should 
do more. This duty is embedded in the oath that each one of us took 
when we were sworn into this great institution.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, again, I'd like to reference Rob Krentz; his 
brother, Phil Krentz; the Krentz family--my constituents, southern 
Arizonans, U.S. citizens. Rob Krentz is no longer with us for doing 
nothing more than being on his own land.
  The Federal Government has to take responsibility for the safety and 
security of its citizens, first and foremost. This is a great 
institution. The United States Congress can achieve great things. It is 
important that we focus our national security efforts, first and 
foremost, on homeland security, and that means border security and not 
allowing a situation like the tragic murder of Rob Krentz to ever occur 
again, to not allow the continued stories that we hear of the 
destruction along the U.S.-Mexico border, to not allow that to 
continue.

                          ____________________