The poet Robert Frost penned the line “good fences make good neighbors” back in 1914. Today he might have rephrased it to “secure national borders make safe citizens.”
When national borders are undermined — as continues to be the case at the U.S. southern border — illegal immigrants are free to stream into the country. This can cause confusion for legal citizens. I’ve said it before: Confusion breeds fear.
In the desert ranchlands of southern Arizona, this brand of fear can get people killed.
That might be what happened in the case of George Alan Kelly, a 73-year-old rancher accused of shooting and killing an illegal migrant on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The alleged victim, tentatively identified as 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen-Butimea from a Mexican voter registration found on his body, was no stranger to the U.S. According to the Daily Mail, Cuen-Butimea had been deported back to Mexico multiple times, most recently in 2016.
Kelly’s Kino Springs ranch is in an isolated area about a mile and a half due north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Out there, it’s every man for himself. Rugged individualism used to be an American ideal. In Kelly’s case, it looks more like a curse.
There were more than a quarter-million illegal migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in December, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That was the highest monthly total ever recorded, according to the New York Post.
It’s easy to see why U.S. citizens living in the rugged rural areas close to the southern border might be a bit rattled.
Apparently, none of this played into Santa Cruz County’s decision to charge Kelly with first-degree murder. Kelly was also slapped with a $1 million bail bond, which he asked the judge to reduce because his wife would be left to fend for herself on the ranch.
“She’s there by herself,” Kelly reportedly pleaded at a court hearing. “Nobody to take care of her, the livestock or the ranch. And I’m not going anywhere. I can’t come up with a million dollars.”
The judge wasn’t having it. This sounds like overkill on the part of officials who are reportedly still trying to figure out what happened to trigger the shooting.
Under Arizona law, a property owner can use deadly force if he or she believes it “immediately necessary” to prevent trespassing, according to the Mail. Arizona also has “stand your ground” laws that allow homeowners to use deadly force.
Kelly’s an old man. It’s not like he’s going to jump bail and illegally cross the border to save his hide.
The entire affair seems upside down. Is Kelly being punished for defending his property? Is he guilty until proven innocent? That’s what it sounds like.
If it happens to be the case that Kelly has a history of shooting at people out in the Arizona desert, why wouldn’t officials lead with that information to justify a $1 million bond?
The whole country’s upside down under President Joe Biden’s watch.
Bottom line: The Biden administration has intentionally undermined border security. There’s no other plausible explanation for the fiasco that continues to unfold at our southern border.
Is it crazy? Yes. No doubt about it. And it’s making us natives very restless.
Frost was right — good fences do make good neighbors, because they clearly designate private property. Secure borders clearly define a nation. When a border becomes blurred, citizens get disoriented. What once was clear becomes a question mark.
And so does everything else the country holds dear.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.