At the end of March, a prominent southeast Arizona rancher who worked the ground his family has owned since 1907 was found slain, an apparent gunshot victim.
Reports indicate Robert Krentz was working in the area of a known smuggling corridor and that tracks leading away from the scene were followed 20 miles south to the Mexico border.
This murder, the Editorial Board contends, is another example of why resolving long-time problematic issues like border security and illegal immigration are so vitally important today.
Had our country’s border security been tighter, and entrance into and from the United States not been so lax, we might not be discussing Krentz today in such a sad and sobering manner. Chances are, his life warranted something much more than that, board members believe.
Before this opinion piece can be misconstrued, particularly given that border security and illegal immigration are two issues that can become emotional very quickly, the Editorial Board would like to note a couple of important details.
One, our stance is not one of anti-immigration, does not resemble the absurd notion of building a fence to keep immigrants out, and is not a veiled bit of racism.
Many immigrants come to America from impoverished or dangerous circumstances, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. They do so at any cost, and sometimes that means avoiding the bureaucratic red tape.
Who can argue with that? Who can tell them that they’re wrong for doing so, particularly when faced with violence or crippling poverty?
Wouldn’t most of us do the same?
And two, the reality is that many people coming here illegally aren’t putting Americans out of work.
Rather, they’re taking jobs that Americans, perhaps a bit spoiled by our country’s success, aren’t willing to take. In many ways, our country and our economy depend on illegal immigrants and the workforce they provide.
That’s important to consider.
However, the reality is that immigrants who are here illegally are breaking the law. They are costing our state and federal governments money.
And, our borders have become a conduit for not only illegal immigrants, but other illegal activity, as well.
We’ve seen the effects of that in our community, where narcotics coming up from Mexico have found their way into Craig and Moffat County.
The Editorial Board is advocating for reasonable change as it relates to our borders, a solid plan that keeps America stocked with necessary workers while also giving refuge to those needing it. This plan also needs to address the flow of illegal materials coming in and out of our country.
With one of the biggest, most important elections on the horizon, border security and controlled, regulated immigration needs to take a place near the economy as one of our country’s most pressing issues.
A family in Arizona, the Editorial Board contends, most likely agrees with us on at least that point.