Skip to comments.Surge of volunteers expected to help illegal immigrants cross desert
Posted on 05/21/2006 7:20:11 AM PDT by KoRn
A surge in the number of volunteers fanning out across Arizona's southern deserts to aid illegal immigrants is expected this summer.
The increase comes despite the ongoing prosecution of two volunteers arrested last summer on federal charges they intentionally conspired to transport illegal entrants, leaders of illegal immigrant aid groups said.
Shanti A. Sellz and Daniel M. Strauss, both 24, were arrested as they drove illegal entrants to a clinic on July 9 and face trial in October.
Leaders of two faith-based groups, No More Deaths and Samaritan Patrol, say they've signed up hundreds of volunteers to deliver food, water and medical aid to migrants illegally walking into the country from Mexico. No More Deaths alone has 500 registered volunteers, up from 300 last summer.
A third group, Humane Borders, puts water tanks in areas frequented by illegal migrants.
The groups are trying to reach an agreement with the U.S. Border Patrol spelling out legal ways they can provide humanitarian aid to illegal migrants.
The biggest issue is what to do when volunteers come across migrants they believe need immediate medical attention, the same situation that Sellz and Strauss contend led to their arrests.
No More Deaths legal adviser Margo Cowan said she's presented a draft agreement to the U.S. Border Patrol spelling out how to deal with similar situations.
But Michael Nicley, chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, says he hasn't signed it. He said he is trying to maintain good relations with the aid groups but it is never right to transport illegal entrants, even if they're gravely ill. He said anyone who comes across an ill migrant should call the Border Patrol.
"If someone has a heart attack, then they need to summon emergency medical care," he said. "The smart way is not to load them in a vehicle and drive them to Tucson."
Cowan said her group is looking forward to "a good working collaboration with the Border Patrol this summer," and Border Patrol agents will attend No More Deaths training sessions.
"We're going to do everything we can to work with the U.S. to save lives. We're not picking fights," Cowan said.
Since Oct. 1, federal records show 73 migrants have died in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, which runs from the New Mexico line to the western edge of Pima County, most caused by heat exhaustion and dehydration.
A total of 216 deaths, including women and children, were recorded in the Tucson Sector from Oct. 1, 2004 through Sept. 30, 2005.
"These people are aiding and abetting criminals. They may see themselves as being on some kind of humanitarian mission, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
TRUE! And remember, the media portrays them all (mexican illegals)as victims and innocent and only wanting a better life. They DO NOT portray the ones who are criminals, and would be dangerous to the volunteers. They won't be able to call the police out in the desert!
This is a bad thing? With these well-intentioned useful idiots roaming around out there, how hard could it be to find the illegals they are hooking up with?
And, while I have been told that illegally entering this country is a misdemeanor, AIDING AND ABETTING those who do so is a FELONY.
If that is true...this could be a positive thing!
About the time the humanitarians find themselves getting ambushed and the females raped by coyotes, their help will come to an abrupt halt.
Too bad someone will be hurt or killed before they figure it out.
Her present 'cause' is dying on the vine and she can't sell any of her books.
What does a woman who lives off media attention do in a case like this?
It doesn't seem to me that illegally crossing the border ought to be considered an exercise in religious faith.
These people are clueless, and the desert border regions of New Mexico and Arizona are not good places for the clueless to roam around in the summer heat. There will be more casualties among the "volunteers" than there will be among the illegals.
It continues to be a mystery to me. Sadly it seems politics trumps the law. The solution to all of this is simple, its called LAW ENFORCEMENT!
And by doing so, the warped traitors in No More Deaths, by encouraging illegal and dangerous border crossings, are ensuring that there will be more deaths. Door knobs!
As crazy everything has become on this issue, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they received Federal assistance of some type. I wonder if they have had any dealings with the Mexican government.
If they had the courage of their convictions, any reasonable "no more deaths [on the border]" campaign would start and end in Mexico. But they wouldn't last very long there, now would they?
There's a big piece of the problem. The border partol agents don't need to attend "No More Deaths" training. I'm of the mindset that another kind of training is needed.
These folks have lost leave of their senses.
Has the world gone topsy turvey? Just read this morning the Brits are letting over 200 people on THEIR terrosit list stay in the UK...
Arn't they just being good Christians?
I'd be willing to bet the Border Patrol Agents have no desire to attend this. Stupidity like this is born of government bureaucrats not law enforcement.
It sounds like the Border Patrol maintains better relations with these unpaid coyotes than with the Minutemen. Imagine the stink if cops shadowed these people like they do the Minutemen.
Nothing like having self-confessed felons praised by the media, while a "neighborhood watch" group like the Minutemen are smeared.
How many of these "gravely ill 'immigrants'" miraculously recover once inside the city limits and are let off on a street corner, rather then being taken to a hospital's ER?
I wonder how tough it would be for the Border Patrol to follow them and empty the water tanks. It doesn't sound that tought to me.
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