Robert Krentz Killing Stokes Fears of Rampant Illegal Immigration

Article excerpt

Speculation that the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz is tied to illegal immigration has sparked calls for Homeland Security to send in the National Guard.

The killing of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz has prompted the state's governor, its most influential senator, and its farming community to say that Washington is not doing enough to prevent illegal immigration and secure the border with Mexico.

Mr. Krentz was found Saturday, fatally shot and slumped over in his all-terrain vehicle, which still had its lights and engine on. Law enforcement officials tracked footprints from the scene back to the border, raising speculation that the killer is an illegal immigrant.

The apparent murder heightens the tension surrounding the immigration reform debate, with advocates of much stricter immigration controls saying Krentz's death highlights the urgent need for significantly increased border security.

Already, Krentz's death is being held up as evidence that border violence is spiraling out of control as the Obama administration mulls immigration reform that could include a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants in the United States.

"It's scary," says Dawn Garner, a teacher and yoga instructor whose small ranch abuts the border near Naco, Ariz., just miles from Krentz's ranch. She says she counts "at least 12" immigrants crossing her property every day.

"It's become Grand Central Station out here since the Obama administration began talking about comprehensive reform," says Ms. Garner, whose daughter knows Krentz's son. "They're all trying to get up here quickly so they can be inside the country when amnesty - or whatever they want to call it - is announced."

Calls for action

Since Saturday, Gov. Jan Brewer (D) and Sen. John McCain (R) have called on the Department of Homeland Security to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona border. The Arizona Farm Bureau added: "Until Congress addresses securing the border, all necessary resources should be focused on Arizona's border."

Authorities have not announced any motive for the killing, nor have they officially suggested that the killer was an illegal immigrant. …