U.S. liable for border-crosser deaths? Families of 14 Mexican illegals seek $42 mil


May 8, 2003, 09:21 PM
:cuss: :cuss: :fire:



U.S. liable for border-crosser deaths?
Families of 14 Mexican illegals seek $42 million

Posted: May 8, 2003
4:00 p.m. Eastern

The families of 14 illegal Mexican immigrants who died of dehydration while crossing the hot Arizona desert have filed a $42 million lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, claiming it failed to help them survive.

The lawsuit, filed April 30 in U.S. District Court in Tucson, claims federal border policy forced the immigrants to enter the country through the treacherous area southwest of Tucson known to have little water. Border Patrol agents found the immigrants on May 23, 2001 in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

The 14 are among hundreds of undocumented immigrants that have succumbed to the 100-degree temperatures in the desert region since October 2001, according to Border Patrol statistics.

The lawsuit also alleges the department could have prevented the deaths if it hadn't blocked the humanitarian-aid measures of a group called Humane Borders. Two months prior, the human rights organization was refused permission to place a water station "in the exact area" where the crossers died, according to the suit.

Environmental concern reportedly trumped that over the Mexicans.

Robin Hoover, pastor of First Christian Church and president of Humane Borders, told the Associated Press and Arizona Star the application for the water station was denied over concerns for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn antelope.

"They've got all kinds of critters. They also seem to have some human beings running around out there," James Metcalf, one of three attorneys who filed the lawsuit, told the Arizona Star. "These folks are still human beings who die at alarming frequencies, and they're aware of that," he said.

The day after the 14 bodies were recovered, according to the lawsuit, wildlife officials placed seven Humane Borders flags marking water stations migrants could use. Metcalf maintains this shows culpability on the part of the Interior.

"By allowing water stations in areas where it formerly prohibited them and by setting up emergency call boxes to save the lives of illegal entrants in the desert, the government has acknowledged people need help to make the journey, he told the Arizona Star. "The government doesn't assume responsibility unless they in fact have one."

Worse than the lack of compassion, asserts Hoover, is the escalating violence at the border, including the presence of citizen militias taking border security into their own hands.

"We're very concerned that the Border Patrol's attitude is becoming more militarized," Hoover told the Tucson Citizen. "We think the Border Patrol's job is truly a law enforcement style of public service and not military."

WorldNetDaily has reported the Mexican border increasingly resembles a war zone as drug and illegal-migrant smugglers pull out all the stops to defy U.S. agents. In 2000, the Juarez cartel, one of Mexico's biggest drug gangs, placed a bounty of $200,000 on U.S. lawmen.

Following the announcement, Border Patrol officers reported instances of "armed incursions" into U.S. territory by heavily armed Mexican army units. In March 2000, two Mexican army Humvees carrying about 16 soldiers, armed with automatic assault rifles, pistols and a submachine gun drove across the international boundary near Santa Teresa, New Mexico and shot at Border Patrol agents.

Then in March 2002, a Border Patrol officer encountered four heavily armed Mexican army soldiers on the U.S. side of the border near San Diego. The soldiers, armed with three submachine guns and one M-16 rifle, crossed the border near Tecate, Mexico, while on a counter-drug mission.

The shooting death of a park ranger in Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument last August prompted calls for more security on the U.S. border. The 28-year-old ranger was killed as he and Border Patrol agents closed in on two gunmen suspected of having ties to Mexican drug lords.

"We have to put the military down here; we have to help these people," Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the head of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, declared at the time.

Then there are security concerns beyond smugglers.

WorldNetDaily reported last month a southern Texas sheriff put out a public warning that unidentified armed men dressed in military fatigues, carrying "professional backpacks" and walking together in a military cadence have been spotted on numerous occasions in his county near the border with Mexico.

Despite the risks, The Tucson Citizen reports some 3,000 migrants make it across the border successfully every day.

The lawsuit seeks about $3 million for each of the 14 who failed.

Wes Bramhall, president of Arizonans for Immigration Control, condemned the lawsuit.

"It's ridiculous," he told the Arizona Star. "These people knew what they were doing. They knew they were breaking the law."

If you enjoyed reading about "U.S. liable for border-crosser deaths? Families of 14 Mexican illegals seek $42 mil" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
J Miller
May 8, 2003, 09:30 PM
NO! NO! NO! We are not responsible for the deaths of ILLEGALS that die commiting a crime!!!

If they want to enter the US, do it legally. Otherwise face the consequences of their own stupid actions.

Standing Wolf
May 8, 2003, 09:41 PM
I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which I find more repugnant: illegal aliens, or assault lawyers. Both are cancerous growths in our nation.

May 8, 2003, 09:45 PM
In two years we'll be clamoring for a regime-change "down there." Unfortunately, we are more likely to get another amnesty instead.

May 8, 2003, 10:09 PM
I hope the District Court of Tucson tell them to go to:cuss:

May 9, 2003, 02:38 AM
"We think the Border Patrol's job is truly a law enforcement style of public service and not military."

I believe that's the American public...you know, the ones who pay the bills.

May 9, 2003, 03:42 AM
You just can't make this stuff up! We taxpayers get hosed again!:fire:

May 9, 2003, 01:04 PM
"We think the Border Patrol's job is truly a law enforcement style of public service and not military."

You would think that these dweebs would realize that maybe crossing into our country ILLEGALLY is actually a CRIME and that the Border Control really is inforcing the LAW. For some reason theses key points are lost on them.

Would they realize the slight rift between their viewpoint and ours if rather than placing the requested water fountains in the DMZ we ran regular strafing runs there instead?

Illegal stuff is a crime, even.

May 9, 2003, 01:10 PM
...undocumented immigrants... Use the right :cuss: term - ILLEGAL ALIENS!!...the government has acknowledged people need help to make the journey... By this logic, burglars need government help to break into your house, and druggies need government help to smuggle coke, and stick-up men need government help to rob mini-markets, and crooked CEO's need government help to raid pension funds . . . in this "newthink" it seems we're expected to HELP our assailants victimize us.

It seems that a fair portion of bureacrats, lawyers, judges and such working for the government hate America and are doing what they can to actively hurt this country. :fire: :cuss: :fire:

May 9, 2003, 01:58 PM
Customs and the Coast Guard make it dangerous to smuggle drugs into the country too. Perhaps they should be sued for not lighting up illegal runways for drug planes and actually chasing a few into the ocean, thus killing some undocumented businessmen!:scrutiny:

May 9, 2003, 02:28 PM
Why is it that we seem to be the only country in the world that gets excoriated for attempting to control its own borders?

Virtually every nation on the globe has conditions and limitations concerning entrance, acquiring citizenship, what goods and substances are contraband, etc.

Why is it that the security of their nations, persons, commerce and cultures must be protected while ours should not?

Why should we be expected to actually facilitate the circumvention of our laws? We have neither the obligation nor the duty to accept and succor anyone that can manage to get across that invisible line.

Let there be consequences, and let them be dire. A slap on the wrist and a free bus ride home just doesn't cut it.

Armed incursion by any party for any reason should be greeted with lethal force. Uninvited incursion by foreign miltary or paramilitary personnel should be treated as an act of war, and retaliation swift, sure, and deadly should they attempt to harm any of our people in the process.

Don Gwinn
May 9, 2003, 03:49 PM
Forget for a moment the fact that they were committing a crime. It's more than relevant, but forget it. Now, ponder this.

If I decided to strike out across the Sonoran desert on foot with too little water, and I (predictably enough) died halfway across, would my family be able to collect a fortune by suing the government for not putting a water station in the area I was crossing? Is the government now to be held responsible for deaths caused by stupid people who underestimate nature?

Now, you and I both know that the answer is no. If some goober from the well-watered prairies of Illinois wants to hike across the desert, he's on his own.

So why is it different for these people?

May 9, 2003, 04:26 PM
ILLEGAL aliens trying to ILLEGALLY cross over our borders and we are liable for them? Pocky-cock.

If you enjoyed reading about "U.S. liable for border-crosser deaths? Families of 14 Mexican illegals seek $42 mil" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!