Arizona’s compassionate new law 1

We have poached this letter from Mark Steyn’s website. It was sent to him by Linda Denno, of Sierra Vista, Arizona. We think it raises points that should be taken into account in the arguments raging over illegal immigration, and over the controversial measures Arizona is taking to deal with it.

I live within fifteen miles of the Mexican border, and my back fence runs along a major corridor for illegal immigrants traveling through the desert. We are accustomed to helicopters circling overhead and Border Patrol vehicles constantly patrolling the dirt road behind our house. Our beloved German Shepherd has been poisoned and our property vandalized, although I would not say that we live in fear because we are well armed and take necessary precautions.

But what I really want to mention to you is something I really have not heard in the debate over the consequences of illegal immigration. I believe that any and all measures that truly discourage immigrants from entering this country illegally — as the new Arizona law is supposedly already doing — are salutary because discouraging illegal immigration is the genuinely compassionate approach.

A couple of anecdotes: Last week, Border Patrol agents discovered a large moving truck abandoned in the desert near Douglas, Arizona (the site of the recent rancher’s murder). The truck was padlocked from the outside. When the agents cut off the lock and opened the trailer, they discovered dozens of illegal immigrants inside, abandoned by the coyotes who had obviously been “spooked” and left the people in the back of the truck to whatever fate befell them. It was a warm but not a hot day in the desert, so the illegal immigrants were still alive and in relatively good condition. The situation could have ended very differently, not to say tragically.

Secondly, my family and I were enjoying our breakfast al fresco one morning when two women came to our back fence asking for “agua.” A Border Patrol raid the night before behind our house had picked up 70 or so illegal immigrants. These two young ladies had been abandoned by the coyotes during the raid and had been wandering in the hot desert (wearing all black) for hours. My teenage daughter speaks Spanish and was able to discover that both were from El Salvador, both were the mothers of several young children, and both believed they were almost to Los Angeles (550 miles away). We brought them into our garage, gave them water and food, and called the Border Patrol. My daughter was upset about their situation, and understandably so: They were only a few years older than she was. I explained to her that as long as our government refused to enforce laws against illegal immigration, desperate people from other countries would continue to take great risks for the opportunity to live the American dream. Those people would face incredible dangers, be vulnerable to the worst kinds of thugs, and endure unspeakable hardships —  as long as the United States refused to make illegal immigration a crime for which all involved would be swiftly and severely punished. …

I just would like to add a perspective that should be thrown back in the face of the hypocrites who call us racist and mean-spirited. The anecdotes above are representative of incidents that happen in the Arizona desert constantly

The answer is not to set up “water stations” to prevent illegals from dying in the desert. The answer is to discourage them from entering illegally in the first place. That is the only truly humanitarian, compassionate approach to the plight of illegal aliens.

We heartily agree.

Posted under Commentary, government, immigration, Latin America, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 7, 2010

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  • snark

    I agree that illegal immigration is a problem that needs to be more affectively addressed. It's terrible that people are so desperate to improve their lives that they would put themselves in the hands of people who would just as soon see them dead as long as they made a buck off the deal. I understand the motivation of people who put water stations in the desert. They may not want people entering the country illegally but they also do not want to see them dead in the desert. Disagree with their actions but their motives are purely humanitarian. The stream of people crossing the border is not just going to stop because we keep sending more of them back. They don't need to be discouraged from entering illegally, they need to not have a reason to leave where they are. It's a much bigger problem than not having water in the desert is going to solve.

    I think there are aspects of the Arizona law that begin to lead us down a slippery slope that many will not like.

    I also think that many in states like Texas, Arizona nad New Mexico are in a bit of denial about the fact that demographic trends will make the white residents of those states minorities in those states in only a few short years. This country is trending brown. A hard concept for many to deal with.