Who Should Pay For Death In The Desert?
If you like
reparations for slavery, you`ll love the
lawsuit launched by the families of 11 dead illegal
aliens against the federal government—otherwise known as
the American taxpayer—last week. The aliens are deceased
because they died of thirst while trying to
sneak into the United States through a federally
protected wildlife preserve in Arizona. The families are
suing because they claim the government`s at fault
because it didn`t
put out water for them.
If a burglar breaks into your
house, trips over a loose cord, and breaks his neck
while falling down the stairs, can his family sue you?
That`s the logic of what the aliens` families are doing,
but of course the answer, due to the
wacky and wonderful world of American jurisprudence,
is perhaps not as obvious as it should be.
In other words, the aliens may
actually be able to
get away with it.
For the last several years, the
U.S. Border Patrol, under increasing pressure to control
the traffic in illegal immigration across the nation`s
southern border, has
cracked down on trans-border regions where most
illegals cross. The crackdown has pushed immigrants into
other areas that are not as safe or as populated as the
preferred ones. One reason they`re not as safe is that
they lack water, and this is one justification for the
Another justification is that the
Interior Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service,
the agencies actually being sued, "failed" to put out
enough water in the preserve to slake the thirsts of the
illegal aliens. "What these agencies knew—or should have
known—is that by doing this [shutting down other border
areas], and with a history of deaths in the desert,
these people would cross in these dangerous areas," one
of the aliens` lawyers preaches. "It would have cost the
government nothing to put water stations in, as it had
done in other locations."
And indeed "humanitarian" groups
had requested the government to establish water stations
for the immigrants.
The government puts water in other
locations so that wildlife will have enough water, not
for the convenience of aliens blatantly violating the
law. But be that as it may, the response of government
officials so far has been somewhat disappointing.
The Fish and Wildlife Service says
it did receive requests to put out more water stations
but ignored them because "of those places they requested
to place water stations, none of them would have helped
the poor people who perished there," according to an
agency spokesman. He also blamed the immigrant smugglers
who guided the aliens into the deserted area.
That`s all swell. The aliens who
died were indeed poor people—not just because they died
but because they were in fact being
exploited by both the hoodlums they paid to guide
them as well as by the
phoney humanitarians and
open borders nuts who lure them
into this country in the first place.
But the larger point is that at no
time has the agency or its spokesmen asserted that the
ultimate blame for the deaths of the poor people trying
to enter illegally must fall on them.
They knew what they were doing was
illegal and dangerous—and they did it anyway.
What is behind the suit, of
course, is the concept, dear to the hearts of the open
borders crowd, that the United States has no right to
have any borders anyway and certainly no
right or authority to protect its borders against
immigrants or enforce laws against crossing the borders.
shall be open borders," the Wall Street Journal
repeatedly proclaims in its favorite proposed
constitutional amendment. It`s an amendment that many
in the open borders brigades seem to think has already
Not only do they concoct every
conceivable effort to thwart the Border Patrol in
performing its mission but also they encourage towns and
cities on the border to declare themselves exempt from
federal laws against illegal immigration (e.g.,
El Cenizo, Texas, a few years ago and others since)
and dream up preposterous law suits to impede
The open borders brigade, in other
words, is not just a lobby, mobilizing voters and office
holders for and against the laws they like or oppose.
It`s also a force for what can only be called
of established federal laws and policies on immigration
and border security.
The spokesmen for the agencies
being sued by these forces of subversion need to point
that out—not just pretend they really didn`t know where
to put the water supplies.
And they need also to insist on
the unpleasant truth about the deaths in the desert: the
aliens who chose to break our laws brought their own
grim fates upon themselves.
May 16, 2002