Tucson Citizen
Monday, July 19, 2004

Helping illegal immigrants: Con

How much aid is appropriate for migrants in distress in the desert?

Compassion is nice, but encouraging more people to risk death by tackling our murderous desert is a crime - literally.


If the public knew how many illegal immigrants are arrested and the number who avoid arrest every month in the Tucson Sector alone, perhaps enough pressure would be put on our leadership in Washington to curtail this invasion of our nation.
"Invasion" is the appropriate term for what is taking place. The following numbers, all official and provided by the Border Patrol, are astounding:

In June, in the Tucson Sector alone, the Border Patrol arrested 41,767 illegal immigrants crossing our 281-mile border with Mexico. This averages 1,392 illegal immigrants every day of the month.

Border Patrol agents will tell you that for every arrest, three people get by to reside throughout our nation. Some agents say the ratio is 1 to 5.

Even using the 3 to 1 ratio, that means 125,301 illegal immigrants avoided arrest here in June.

In the first nine months of the area Border Patrol's fiscal year, starting last Oct. 1, 379,248 illegal immigrants were arrested.

That means 1,137,744 got by. Unbelievable, but a true number. Wake up, America!

Vehicles confiscated from immigrant smugglers totaled 808. Marijuana confiscated was 34,954 pounds, or 17.2 tons. That is one big bunch of smokes, 1,165 pounds per day. We owe the Border Patrol a big "thank you" for a job well done.

Now that the public knows in part what's going on, I must note what I believe could be interpreted as criminal acts by individuals and some churches and their leaders.

In a recent newspaper article, members of the Christian Peacemakers Team - largely college-age kids - blatantly said they were going to supply illegal immigrants with food, water, etc.

A newspaper photograph showed two members of this group delivering food and water to two pending illegal immigrants on the Mexico side of the fence.

Before this operation, another group of individuals, organizations, churches and their leaders established a camp along the border, with more to follow. The name chosen is Arks of Covenant. Again, the primary object seems to be to supply illegal immigrants with food and water. This could certainly be interpreted as aiding and abetting - an illegal act.

Humane Borders, organized and led by the Rev. Robin Hoover, has installed at least 48 water stations at various locations along the border.

These stations consist primarily of two 50-gallon drums, which I'm told are serviced regularly by members of Humane Borders. The number of stations, 48 or more, without question is a factor considered by illegal immigrants when they debate whether to try jumping the border.

What would you do? You probably would attempt it, knowing there were 48 water stations out there to assist you, especially when you know other groups also will offer you food and water.

What does the law say about what I consider illegal acts being committed by these groups? To quote the Immigration and Naturalization Service Act 274 (a)(1)(A), "It is a felony to engage in any conspiracy to commit or to aid or abet the commission of any of the bringing in, harboring, sheltering, transporting or encouraging felonies."

As one reads this portion of the law, he must come to one conclusion: Humane Borders with its water stations, and other organizations with their food and water, seem to be aiding the illegal immigrants who invade are nation and clearly are breaking the law or, put another way, committing a crime.

The answer to the illegal immigrant problem is twofold. First, Washington must enforce the Employer Sanctions law and quit kowtowing to the Mexican government - no work, no illegals.

Second, our government must dispatch military units to assist the Border Patrol. Not tanks and bullets, but merely personnel. Article 4, Section 4 of our Constitution states in part, "The United States shall guarantee to every state in the union a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against Invasion."

With 3 million illegal immigrants crossing our border with Mexico, avoiding arrest every year, this is without question an invasion.

Wes Bramhall is president of Arizonans for Immigration Control, which has two objectives: to alert the public to the costs and problems associated with illegal immigration and to support the Border Patrol.