Raft Man of the Rio Grande
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[Also by Juan Mann:

Minutemen watching?—who cares! 

Nowadays, alien smugglers are so brazen in plying their lucrative trade in what President Bush calls "good-hearted people"—illegal aliens to the rest of us—that they don't even care if Customs and Border Protection (CPB) inspectors or U.S. Border Patrol agents are watching.

Meet the "Raft Man" of the Rio Grande.

A VDARE.com reader emailed the story of the Raft Man in response to my recent column which described illegal aliens crossing in a highly visible yellow launch.

Subject: The Raft Man
Date: Sun, 8 May 2005

"It seems CBP cannot figure out what to do with this guy.  He crosses the Rio Grande River several times a day with his human cargo.  Some trips are just one passenger; others are as many as three passengers.  But this guy is really smart.  He will not let his raft touch the shoreline on the U.S. side of the river. 

"CBP tells the Border Patrol agents that they are not allowed to get their feet wet in the river. They must stay on dry land at all times.  So the Raft Man stops about 5-10 feet from shore and tells his passengers to wade the rest of the way to shore.  

"He even lets the Border Patrol agents waiting for his passengers know what country the people are from.  [So that some may not be summarily deported, see below]. Sometimes he will tell them how long before he returns with the next load.   

"The Raft Man has told the agents that if they do not let the passengers wade from his raft to shore that he will drown a few of them.

"Now, you might be asking what the Mexican authorities are doing about this problem. 

"The answer, of course, is nothing. 

"The Raft Man charges an average of $100 U.S. to make the crossing . . . a pretty lucrative business."





So there you have it.  The Mexico-based Raft Man apparently has no fear of being nabbed on U.S. soil.  And the illegal aliens he crosses over have no fear of apprehension.

Raft Man knows that if his non-Mexican customers say the magic word "asylum," they won't be removed summarily under Immigration Act section 235(b)

And even if his Mexican customers are sent back, they can always try again another day.

As readers of my articles already know, non-Mexican illegal aliens most likely will be briefly detained and RELEASED from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center—on the theory that they will attend a future U.S. Immigration Court hearing before the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

With rare exception, only aliens falling under the mandatory detention provisions of Immigration Act section 236(c) remain in immigration custody for any length of time during the futile EOIR immigration litigation process.

And once newly-arrived illegal aliens are officially tagged by the immigration bureaucracy—and released from immigration custody near the border—they are free to continue their briefly-interrupted journey deep into the United States.

And even Mexicans, if they can get past the border, are virtually safe from deportation in the interior—even if caught, they can shelter almost indefinitely in the EOIR swamp.

No doubt many years from now, after long lives in the United States, the American-born children and grandchildren of aliens ferried by Raft Man will be writing songs about him someday.

Why?  Because as a champion of Vicente Fox's "heroes," he has little to lose and everything to gain for both himself and his illegal alien charges.

And though he may not know it, Raft Man is actually working hand-in-hand (for the benefit of his clients, of course) with the federal immigration bureaucracy of the EOIR and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

He's bringing more customers for the Treason Lobby's cadre of immigration lawyers all across the country too.

As long as a rights-obsessed, litigation-based bureaucracy paralyzes the deportation of illegal aliens and criminal aliens, smugglers like Raft Man will be free to operate—literally in broad daylight.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.

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