Although a native Californian, I have never been to Death Valley because the name suggests it might be, well, unpleasant.
The Devil's Path of the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge in Arizona is another landmark whose name might deter tourism.
The name does not, however, deter Mexican illegal aliens from choosing it as their favorite path into America.
The Devil's Path is appealing to Mexican criminals because it is beautifully devoid of border patrol agents. A sparkling amenity bright enough to conceal a potentially lethal pitfall: It's a desert—which by definition is a dry, barren, sandy region.
In May 2001, 26 Mexican nationals attempted to walk the seventy-mile desert terrain amid 115-degree temperatures. They followed the advice of their $1400 Mexican guide ($1400 per person) and packed a water supply. But the supply ran out after the second day of a five-day trek. Eleven people died.
Humane Borders, [email them] a social-welfare organization in Tucson, Arizona, decided to blame the Department of the Interior and The Department of Fish and Wildlife.
This is America, so Humane Borders encouraged the illegals' families to sue, enlisting the help of Yuma attorney A. James Clark. [email them]
The lawsuit argued:
"Interior employees were well aware that many illegal aliens were dying from lack of water while attempting to cross the refuge."
Humane Borders, led by Reverend Robin Hoover, argued it had petitioned the government, two months before the "accident," for a permit to place several water stations on the refuge.
Surprisingly, environmental protection and species preservation was cited as the reason for denying the permits.
I never thought I would say this—but thank God for the tree huggers and the bunny lovers!
This unprecedented $42 million lawsuit was no doubt regarded by most Americans as frivolity. However, earlier this month, a federal court in Tucson requested further information from the plaintiffs—family members of the deceased—a decision that indicates the judiciary, at least in Tucson, is taking this civil action very seriously.
In an interview with the Washington Times, lawyer A. James Clark said that
"the court has ordered further discovery to determine whether the department's denial of permits for the water stations had been subject to a compatibility study and if a failure to order such a study resulted in the deaths". [Lawsuit in deaths of aliens lingers By Jerry Seper, May 17 2004]
Hmmm. While these Mexican illegals lay dying in the blistering heat of the Devil's Path, having run out of water during their attempt to illegally cross our border, I wonder if they exclaimed "That damn compatibility study!"
An equally disturbing lawsuit is Leiva et al. vs. Ranch Rescue et al.
One Salvadoran and five Mexican nationals attempting to cross the border invaded Sutton Ranch in southern Texas. (See Juan Mann's article, Rescue Ranch Rescue, April 3, 2003). Ranch Rescue, a local group founded by Americans dedicated to protecting private property rights from alien invasion, apprehended them.
Almost immediately, and not surprisingly, came the accusations of abuse. Two Rescue Ranch volunteers were arrested and charged with assault. Partners in crime, MALDEF and the Southern Poverty Law Center, helped file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the "victims."
According to the plaintiff's attorney, Ricardo De Anda [send him mail] of the De Anda Law Firm in Laredo, Texas, the victims were "violently assaulted, falsely imprisoned and threatened with death in a March incident on the Sutton ranch". Migrants, attacked on Texas ranch, sue vigilantes for violent assault, SPLC Press Release, May 29, 2004
De Anda claims, "Illegal immigrants—even if trespassing—have the right to be treated fairly and humanely".Oh yeah? What about the rights of the landowner? Chapter nine, subsection D of the Texas Penal Code 9.41(a.) clearly states: "A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property."
Texas law does not use the words "fair and humane" when addressing the rights of citizens to protect themselves from unlawful trespass. More to the point, here is nothing "fair and humane" in the behavior of the trespassers.
In the civil suit, SPLC and MALDEF contend:
"They [Ranch Rescue] were targeting illegal aliens, people that are coming across unarmed, [Er, no.] posing no threat, no danger to anyone, and yet the way they are armed looks like they are expecting the Mexican army." [VDARE.com note: They are in fact expecting the Mexican Army; there have been more than 120 documented instances of Mexican military incursions on US soil, and who knows how many "undocumented" incursions. ]
But in fact an inherent threat to property, not to mention life, existed the moment these six criminals invaded Sutton Ranch.
The Leiva lawsuit is seeking damages, of course. But far more sinister is MALDEF and the SPLC's determination to send a threatening message to all those who defy their tenets.
"The actions of Ranch Rescue and its volunteers are very similar to other hate groups that we have sued in the past," said Morris Dees, Center chief trial counsel. "We see this as an important case to stop this violent paramilitary activity along our borders with Mexico. If these groups and the ranchers who conspire with them have to pay through their pockets, they will think twice before attacking innocent and peaceful migrants." Texas vigilante group faces charges and lawsuit, SPLC Intelligence Report,
The Devil's Path and Sutton Ranch are just two high-profile examples of a rapidly-growing problem: the treason tort—abolishing America by means of its own legal system.
Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson famously said that the U.S, Constitution is not "a suicide pact." But for the American nation-state, that's what the law of tort—civil wrongs resulting in damages recoverable by private legal action—is in danger of becoming.
Two more current examples:
Israel Perez Arvizu and Magdaleno Estrada Escamilla on behalf of themselves and all other Mexican/Chicano Day Laborers and/or Latino Day Laborers similarly situated versus:…
The list of defendants is lengthy, but it includes Sachem Quality of Life Organization, a local group opposing illegal immigration that is based in the town where Mr. Perez and Mr. Estrada lived. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs contend that groups such as SQL gave the attackers of Perez/Escamilla "…Material and ideological" support, promoting "hatred and intolerance against immigrants and day laborers."
Antonio and three of his relatives had been detained by JCPenney security for suspicion of shoplifting. During a routine interrogation, local police discovered that Noyola was an illegal alien. His cousin and his aunt were deported.
It has been argued that one of the problems with immigration is that immigrants, after moving to America, don't assimilate. They don't become like us.
But they—or their advisors—are all too like us in their penchant for manipulating a tort system that is not just increasingly perverse, but increasingly anti-patriotic.
Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.