Normally a story like this incident wouldn't be relevant on Vdare, but this one is definitely different. That's because the bus came here from central Mexico, crossed the border in El Paso, Texas, and was headed to Los Angeles, CA.
All the local TV stations have written stories and their websites provide extensive video coverage. These links will get you started. Probably most national news coverage will use these videos for their feeds.
Something started to smell very fishy about the story when I read this. According to USA Today:
The company is based in Los Angeles and Durango, Mexico. In December the Department of Transportation rejected the company's application to operate in the United States. The company's $5 million insurance policies were canceled in July and November, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.The DOT issued information with more detail:
After submitting an application to receive USDOT passenger carrier operating authority in April 2009, the carrier was immediately notified by FMCSA via certified mail that they were "not authorized to engage in the interstate transportation of passengers by commercial motor vehicle during the application review." The carrier's application was officially denied on December 14, 2009. DOT Statement On Bus Crash, KPHO, March 5, 2010So far there is no information about the driver. Rumors are circulating that he didn't have a U.S. driver's license, but at this time I can't confirm that. There isn't much information on the company he worked for either — the bus company Tierra Santa doesn't seem to even have a website. It appears they have been scrubbed off the internet.
There is lots of media coverage but I have yet to see a single one that raises a very obvious question about the immigration status of the passengers and the driver. That's very typical of the news coverage in Arizona — usually when illegal aliens are involved the news media avoids the topic as long as they can. If illegal aliens are involved, in time the truth will leak out. One report mentioned that a passenger had a Los Angeles, CA driver's license, which doesn't prove a thing about his citizenship.
Whether the bus was loaded with illegal aliens or not is an issue worthy of discussion but there is a much deeper question that the mainstream media has yet to ask — why was that bus allowed to cross the El Paso border? The bus company was ordered not to drive buses by the Feds, so wouldn't that imply that the bus would have been stopped when passenger passports were being checked? Another question — if a bus driven by a company that had its license revoked could cross the border, how blatant would a vehicle have to arouse suspicion?
Meanwhile the injured passengers are in intensive care in the Maricopa Medical Center Hospital which means that somebody is going to pay a very hefty medical bill. You can be sure that Mexico or whatever other Central American country these people came from won't pay for it — even if these people stay for weeks or months.
I call on Arizona to refuse to pay the bill because it was the Feds who let the bus cross at El Paso, Texas so the Feds should be forced to foot the bill. Cleaning up the mess on I-10 will also come with a big price tag so the Feds should be sent that bill as well. Maybe even Texas should share some of the blame since the El Paso border crossing is in their state.
One thing for sure, Arizona shouldn't be required to pay a dime for this disaster. Folks, the only reason it's Arizona's problem is that the Feds allowed that bus to cross state lines and international borders. Arizona is a state on the verge of bankruptcy, and one of the major reasons is the unfunded mandates the federal government forces on us because they don't want to take responsibility for the mess at our border. Judging by Napolitano's lack of enthusiasm for reimbursing Arizona for other expenses related to immigration enforcement it's not clear anybody else will accept responsibility. President Obama, maybe this is your chance to step up to the plate!
Another alternative is to force the Maricopa hospital to pay everything until they declare bankruptcy. It's happened to many other hospitals in the nation and nobody seems to care, so why not this one?