Last week, I mentioned that activists from Smart Girl Politics in Arizona were organizing a border clean-up day in honor of slain rancher Robert Krentz. The event took place on Saturday and Jennifer Leslie of SGP summarized the day’s activities:
We broke into four groups and went on our way. We were motivated, but quickly sobered by seeing the refuse that represented real human beings and their struggles. It was very eye-opening to almost every one of us who had only seen the nicer or touristy border spots. We were blessed with good weather, which not only made our physical labor easier, but kept the snakes and other critters scarce. When all of our bags were full, and the volunteers were wrapping up, I felt sincerely grateful for their desire to show support for the Arizonans that live near the border and to honor the Krentz family. Every one of them appreciated the opportunity to do something tangible in those regards and expressed interest in participating in future border clean-up efforts.
I have been told that Mrs. Krentz is aware of our efforts and approved. I have composed a letter to her and will mail it tomorrow along with condolence cards signed by people at the Tucson Tea Party last week and by volunteers yesterday.
Our efforts would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Border Patrol, Bisbee Police Department, and Cochise County Public Work Department that provided trash bags and picked up the bagged garbage.
Additionally, we contacted all of the Congressional District 8 and Arizona Senate candidates to inquire about their participation in this effort either in person or by providing volunteers and/or water and snacks for our volunteers. We were pleased to welcome Andy Goss, candidate for US House of Representatives in Congressional District 8, and Terri Proud, candidate for Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 26. We are grateful to the following campaigns for providing volunteers and water: JD Hayworth, candidate for the US Senate, Congressional District 8 candidates Jesse Kelly, Brian Miller and Jonathan Paton, and Buz Mills, candidate for Arizona Governor.
Smart Girl Politics, Tucson District Coordinator
Filmmaker Mike Shaw produced a 6-minute documentary on the clean-up:
And from SGP member Lisa Ruth:
At the fence, we saw garbage everywhere including the Mexican side. We even heard a man clearing his throat on the other side of the border fence. We found a backpack with clothes that were wet from a newly opened water bottle that had spilled. We have every reason to believe there was someone in the wash we were walking who heard or saw us and took off. It was an eerie feeling. And yes, it only takes 3 seconds to hop a border because we found something that is never shown on the news or in distributed pictures: crossbars on both sides of the fence that are welded into the metal posts to serve as footholds. This is the handywork of illegals – not the way the fence was constructed. One can also witness the areas where a sledgehammer was used to break the footholds – probably done by border patrol. All someone has to do is slip their foot onto the cross bar to hoist themselves up, climb to the top bar and jump over. It’s that easy! And that’s what protects you and me from millions of unknowns.
We were approached by a border agent who simply told us to please be careful.
…We can hear all the reports and see pics and footage, but nothing will deliver the full impact of the border mess until you are actually face-to-face with the area seeing how flimsy the borders are in front of you and walking the trail the illegals take every day to their transports moving all across this nation. There is no guarantee you will not be face to face with the perpetrators themselves, and it was sobering to see many houses just yards away from that trail in the wash, the garbage, and the overall negative vibes one experiences just standing there. It is rather surreal.
We could not help but think about Robert Krentz, his family and all the legal citizens living along the border. If one can sense the horror by just standing there, imagine what it is like living in the area for years having those trails burrowed into your property, having to be extra cautious on your own land with trash and personal items left as evidence that human and drug trafficking are taking place in your backyard. Just imagine what it is like to live in the border war zone knowing your government is doing nothing to stop it and ignores you when the violence increases.
We were proud to stand with our fellow citizens and provide clean up efforts. We are also proud to be Arizonans helping to lead the nation in securing the border, protecting both legal citizens and the people of Mexico from being used as political chattle. As Smart Girls in Arizona, we are continuing our activism to help ranchers in the area and provide education to help those who wish to become LEGAL citizens on how to do it the LEGAL way. By doing so, we honor Krentz’s life and memory as someone who devoted his life to helping others. May his life example serve as a guide to us all.
Thanks to the SGP crew for doing the job the illegal border-crossers won’t do.
And no, it appears there were no environmentalist greenies in sight to pitch in, either.