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[Congressional Record: March 18, 2003 (House)]
[Page H1930]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                        CONTROL AMERICAN BORDERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to add another family to 
the list of what we are calling ``homeland heroes.'' These are people 
who have faced incredible odds and very, very difficult times, who live 
on the border, northern and southern borders of this country, and are 
really in the middle of a war zone. And I do not use that term just 
figuratively. The things that are going on on our borders and the way 
these people are having to deal with them are truly worthy of note here 
on the floor of the House.
  Tonight, I want to bring to the attention of the floor of the House 
Tom and Betty Jo Kuykendall. They own and operate a ranch only 34 miles 
from the U.S.-Mexico border of Douglas, Arizona. Their children and 
grandchildren have stayed in the ranching business and all live on 
nearby ranch lands.
  The Kuykendalls are the heart of a 6-generation ranching family. For 
over 6 years they have lived in a war zone, as I say. All three of 
their grandchildren have been either threatened or physically attacked 
by illegal trespassers on their own property. When I say trespassers, I 
am not talking about folks who just are out for a Sunday walk. These 
are people coming across their property from Mexico and coming into the 
United States illegally.
  It has been over the last 6 years that something has happened 
dramatically and caused a dramatic difference, I should say, in the 
life-style of the people on that border. There have always been people 
coming from Mexico across that border, many of them illegal; but they 
have been in relatively few numbers. They will stop and ask for a job. 
The Kuykendalls in the past have offered jobs to these folks. They have 
gone on and come into the interior of the country. But in the last 6 
years something has happened.
  They are now coming across that border in hundreds, in fact, in 
thousands. The Border Patrol estimates that over a thousand people 
cross that border every single night in the area of the Kuykendall 
ranch. And what happens as a result of it? Well, their property is 
essentially destroyed. I was privileged to be a guest in their home, 
the Kuykendalls, and this is not too long ago, just several weeks ago. 
And, frankly, from their front yard, we could see people crossing their 
property, people coming into the United States illegally and crossing 
their property. You can see it any time of the day or night. It is, of 
course, more evident, more observable in the evening when the numbers 
become significantly higher than when there are people coming through 
in the daytime.
  The Kuykendalls have had their dog poisoned because it had committed 
the crime of barking at the illegal trespassers when they came close to 
the ranch house. So their dog was poisoned. Illegal aliens have been 
caught trying to steal their horses, vehicles and ATVs on more than one 
occasion. One of the children's horses was stolen and found 3 days 
later several miles away.
  A group of illegals accosted the Kuykendalls in their truck, beat on 
the truck and threatened them and ran only when a Border Patrol came on 
the scene. Some of the illegals who were apprehended were later proven 
to have criminal records as felons here in the United States, records 
of crimes ranging from murder to child molestation.
  The Kuykendalls have personally observed and photographed drug 
smugglers crossing their land dressed in dark camouflage clothing and 
carrying assault rifles. The land itself is littered with discarded 
plastic bags, water bottles, and clothing items. The Kuykendalls' 
fences are torn down, gates are destroyed, water lines are cut, and 
unauthorized trails blazed by illegal immigrants while they trample the 
range land into bedrock.
  These tribulations are typical of what all the ranchers in southern 
Arizona are experiencing to one degree or another. They suffer from a 
daily assault on their property and implicit assaults to their safety.
  Tom and Betty Jo Kuykendall are trying to earn a living and raise a 
family by managing a ranch, which is hard work even in the best of 
circumstances. All of these assaults and intrusions on their property 
damage their property, cost these ranchers money, money for repairs, 
for lost cattle, for damaged equipment, money many ranchers simply do 
not have; and several of their neighbors are now taking up bankruptcy.
  The Kuykendalls have lived and worked under these outrageous 
conditions because we, this government, refuse to take the steps needed 
to secure our border. Unofficial numbers, as I say, from the Border 
Patrol say over a thousand cross every evening in that area.

                              {time}  1915

  They know that that is actually a very conservative amount.
  I hope that this Congress will take the steps necessary to secure the 
border. By failing to do so, we are betraying not only the Kuykendalls, 
but the liberties of every citizen affected by a growing tide of 
illegal immigration flooding across our borders day after day.
  I salute Tom and Betty Jo Kuykendall and their children for their 
efforts in defense of their land, their property and their way of life 
and add them to the list of homeland heroes.