A Case for Better Border Control

A rancher on the Arizona border has been defending his property for years. Immigrants using his property to cross illegally into the U.S. have done significant damage:

He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.

Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.

Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch´s established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil - which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their "clients" to keep them running.

His government has not done much to protect him or his property. Now, let's think about this. What would you do if your property, your business, your home was being run over with vandalism and trash? Let your property (and livelihood) be ruined with trash and destruction? Consider it your God-given duty to spend time and money to clean it up because, after all, these people are just looking for a better life? Do you believe that you would have the right to protect yourself? Do you believe in private property (you know - one of those rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights)?

This is what he did: For the past 10 years, he has been driving his truck and his dog around his ranch, looking for illegal immigrants. He carries a pistol and keeps a rifle in his truck for protection (remember, many armed drug smugglers are among the immigrants he encounters). When he finds a group, he rounds them up at gunpoint and calls the Border Patrol to come and pick them up. Since the Border Patrol has been more successful in shutting down other border crossings, his ranch has become the "avenue of choice" for illegal immigrants.

How do you feel about that? Are you as outraged as I am that this man has to physically defend his property on a daily basis because his government is failing him? But wait - it gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). Now he is being SUED by 16 illegal immigrants (Mexican nationals) who tried to cross his property and were detained. Here is exactly what he did:

Attorneys for the immigrants - five women and 11 men who were trying to cross illegally into the United States - have accused Mr. Barnett of holding the group captive at gunpoint, threatening to turn his dog loose on them and saying he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

The immigrants are represented at trial by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which also charged that Sheriff Dever did nothing to prevent Mr. Barnett from holding their clients at "gunpoint, yelling obscenities at them and kicking one of the women." In the lawsuit, MALDEF said Mr. Barnett approached the group as the immigrants moved through his property, and that he was carrying a pistol and threatening them in English and Spanish. At one point, it said, Mr. Barnett's dog barked at several of the women and he yelled at them in Spanish, "My dog is hungry and he's hungry for buttocks."

The lawsuit said he then called his wife and two Border Patrol agents arrived at the site. It also said Mr. Barnett acknowledged that he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

The illegal immigrants are suing for 32 MILLION DOLLARS for violating their "civil rights" and for "emotional distress". Okay, I'm not going to say he acted in the classiest of manners here, but give me a break. I can say that anyone caught breaking and entering onto my property would not be treated much better (particularly since I live in Texas where it is still legal to shoot those who enter your property illegally). What about his rights? Which of his rights are being protected here? He is a citizen of the United States, protecting his own property from violators because his government is not doing their #1 responsibility of protecting him and his property, and he gets sued? The part that really blows my mind is that the judge proclaimed there was "sufficient evidence" to continue the trial. Sufficient evidence of what?

If the government won't protect us, aren't we guaranteed the right to protect ourselves? This trial needs to be dismissed. Our government (including the judicial system) needs to start protecting the people it is supposed to protect - its own citizens - and end this insanity.


Anonymous said...

I doubt that the lawsuit will go through. But I could care less if it did. I have an idea for the gentlman - make a higher fence. - -

But you're right - we probably should just let him shoot anyone who runs across his property line. Wouldn't want a cow to choke on some soda bottles. That'd be tragic. WHAT? he's more whiney than the whiney immigrants that are trying to sue him. I think they should both get into a new line of business.

Stephanie said...

Um, Rick, he's a RANCHER. Those cows chocking on soda bottles are his livelihood - his occupation and career. They feed his family.

Stephanie said...


Stephanie said...

Or are you saying that you don't care that his property is being destroyed because he's a rancher? You discount his rights because you don't like to eat meat and think that noone should? What if he had a bunch of windmills on his property and was generating electricity? Would you object to the destruction of that by illegal immigrants or still just say, "Build a bigger fence at your own expense"?

bloggernacleburner said...

Texas is a 'castle doctrine' state, so I think this one is pretty clear. If the case isn't dismissed I'll be really disappointed, but it might be good if this went to court and provided a precedent for defending one's rural home.

That's pretty shameless, filing suit. Everything he did is legal. I hope someone takes this case at a greatly reduced rate or pro bono

Stephanie said...

How convenient of you, too, Rick, to try to belittle the extent of the damage by focusing on the cows and ignoring stolen trucks, a house broken into, etc. What if this was in another state, say Ohio? If people (maybe college kids out partying) were regularly going onto a property and destroying it, would you ignore the responsibility of law enforcement to stop it and instead just say, "Build a bigger fence"?

Stephanie said...

bloggernaccle burner, I have to admit that I mistakenly put Texas in my first post but edited to Arizona.

Stephanie said...

I wonder how "whiney" you would be, Rick, to find your vehicles stolen and your house broken into and your land covered with garbage.

Quimby said...

Outside the US, it's considered pretty appalling that so many Americans have this attitude of, "It's my home and I'll shoot anyone on site."

I'm just sayin.

Really, there is nothing in my home or on my property that is worth taking a life over.

Quimby said...

What bothers me about what you are saying is that you don't draw a distinction between "protecting ourselves" and "protecting our property." Obviously I believe in the right to self-defense - but I limit that to people. I believe I have a right to defend my property but only to a limit: My home is not worth my life. My possessions are not worth my life. And when it comes to protecting things that are essential to life (like water) by prohibiting other people from accessing it, I think that is absolutely wrong. (Please note I understand he hasn't done this; but putting a tap on a tank is pretty much just being a decent human being.)

On one day my state lost perhaps 300 people. Who cares about the 700 homes lost? Who cares about the countless cars, the furniture, the sheds? Yes, if you have lost a home, or a shed, or a car, it's a tragedy; but it pales in comparison to a loss of human life. What is it but stuff? And stuff can be replaced. Brothers, sisters, children, parents, friends, loved ones - they can't be replaced.

Today especially I would put more value on a human life than on an object - or even on lifestock or a pet. Defend myself? Sure. Defend my property? Mate, it's just not worth it.

Stephanie said...

Quimby, I'm not saying that he should shoot anyone (and he didn't), but I do think he has the right to defend his property. Why should he be expected to just let his property (and livelihood) be destroyed?

If someone were breaking into my home, how would I know their intent? How would I know if they just want to steal something (which would be pretty stupid since I don't have any possessions of value) or if they intend to rape me in front of my children? I wouldn't, and believe me, I probably wouldn't take too much time to figure it out. They would lose at least a kneecap as a warning. (But, granted, that would be out of self-defense)

Stephanie said...

I don't really think that people should be shot for just trespassing on property. Usually, in the U.S, you rely on law enforcement to help with trespassing. But, in his case, law enforcement (the government) isn't doing anything (or enough) to help him. I do think he has the right to do something since his government is failing him. I don't think he really should shoot anyone, but I do think that his general approach of threatening with a gun and calling border patrol is okay. I think the issue at stake is that he held them "unlawfully". As bloggernaccleburner pointed out, in Texas it would have been okay, but Arizona doesn't have the castle doctrine (perhaps that should change).

Ruben Botello said...

Nuevo Plan de Aztlan

WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America honor our Native American heritage with all our hearts and minds;

WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America honor the sacred call of our Native American ancestors for peace and justice throughout our Americas; and

WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America recognize La Raza has been struggling with a new wave of racial harassment, discrimination and persecution in our Americas since September 11, 2001.

NOW THEREFORE, We the Chicanos y Chicanos of the United States of America resolve as follows:


This resolution may be cited as Nuevo Plan de Aztlan.


Nuevo Plan de Aztlan is based on the following terms:

a) Americanas y Americanos

Americanas y Americanos are ALL AMERICANS regardless of our races, colors, languages, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, religions or creeds.

b) Aztlan

The concept of Aztlan is derived from the Nahua history of the Mexicas before their southern migration from Norte America into Centro Mexico during the 11th Century. Aztlan today is Indigenas of Mexican-American and(or) Mexican descent who consider ourselves Chicanas y Chicanos regardless of where we were born, live or die.

c) Carnalismo

Carnalismo is the love and compassion Chicanas y Chicanos have for each other as carnalas y carnales (sisters and brothers). Carnalismo is what unites and strengthens Chicanas y Chicanos as we work together for peace and justice.

d) Chicanas y Chicanos

Chicanas y Chicanos are Indigenas of Mexican-American and(or) Mexican descent who consider ourselves Chicanas y Chicanos based on our Native American heritage.

e) El Movimiento

El Movimiento is the Chicana y Chicano Movement for peace and justice. El Movimiento is comprised of numerous academic, athletic, artistic, business, commercial, cultural, educational, political, recreational, social, spiritual, wholistic and other Chicana y Chicano organizations and individuals working for peace and justice throughout Aztlan, our Americas and the world.

f) Heritage

Our Native American heritage includes our ancestral lands and freedoms; and all the histories, cultures, traditions and mores of our Native American ancestors.

g) Indigenas

Often called Native Americans or American Indians, Indigenas are all the indigenous peoples of our Americas including those of mixed-race heritage like La Raza.

h) La Causa

La Causa is for peace and justice, the eternal cause of Chicanas y Chicanos who recognize there can be no true peace without true justice, i.e., the abolition of poverty, racism, sexism and all other injusticias in our Americas.

i) La Raza

Chicanas y Chicanos can be Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow and(or) any other “skin color” like the rest of La Raza and the human race. The concept of La Raza was derived from a 1925 essay published by Jose Vasconcelos, a Mexican educator who called the millions of mixed-race Indigenas with Latin-American and(or) Latin-European ancestors La Raza Cosmica.

La Raza is comprised of every race, color, nationality, ethnicity, culture, language, religion and creed in the world. This rich diversity is the unifying power, force and strength of Chicanas y Chicanos, and of all La Raza as we grow to know, understand and honor our great heritage.

j) Latinas y Latinos

Latinas y Latinos of our Americas are Indigenas with a Latin-American and(or) Latin-European heritage. Millions of Latinas y Latinos also have African, Asian and other Non-Latino ancestors.

k) Racism

·Racial categories are crude labels based on parentage, genetics and(or) physical traits, not religious or scientific proof of one’s superior or inferior nature like racists believe.

·Racism is the belief one or more “races” are inherently “superior” to one or more other races. [Example: Many Americans believe “White people” are inherently superior to “Non-White people” and that “Black people” are inherently inferior to all other people.]

·Racism includes the belief “mixed-race” people like La Raza are inferior to those with birth parents of the same race. “Race-mixing” is still condemned by racists today. · Indigenas were considered savages (less-than-human) when Europeans first invaded and occupied our Americas. "Christianized" and(or) otherwise assimilated Indigenas are still considered inferior by today’s racists.

·Racists are not just poor or poorly educated citizens, there are wealthy and highly educated racists throughout government and society who strive to protect and preserve their privileged status via institutional, industrial and commercial racism. Racists are not just White, either; there are Brown, Black, Red, Asian and other racists, too.

·The racist imposition of the colonial English language on Indigenas continues to cause horrendous problems for Chicanas y Chicanos in education, employment and virtually all other aspects of life in the U.S. Laws, rules and regulations are selectively enforced by local, state and federal institutions against La Raza, as English is used as a weapon to deprive Chicanas y Chicanos of liberty, equality and justice throughout our lives.

·Private industry (“free enterprise”) also causes havoc for Chicanas y Chicanos by perpetuating racist stereotypes and beliefs about La Raza for profit and gain. [Example: Mass media and the “entertainment” industries commercialize racist stereotypes and beliefs about Latinas y Latinos throughout the world, while pretending to be “spreading freedom and democracy” alongside the Pentagon.]

l) Terrorist(s)

A terrorist or terrorists are human beings who use unwarranted violence and(or) the threat of violence to kill, rob, rape, torture, imprison or otherwise impose their will over other human beings.


Nuevo Plan de Aztlan addresses the alarming attacks orchestrated against Indigenas throughout Norte America since September 11, 2001 (9/11). U.S. officials are using La Raza as a scapegoat or smokescreen to distract or divert attention away from their heinous war crimes in the Middle East.

According to their domestic propaganda, the “real problem” and therefore actual enemy or threat to national security is Mexicans and other Indigenas “invading” Norte America, not the Pentagon killing, torturing, maiming, imprisoning and destroying other indigenous peoples' lives in faraway lands.

Thousands of racist media, vigilante, “homeland security” and other hostile actions have been executed against Indigenas since 9/11, as tens of thousands of these indigent men, women and children have been rounded up and herded out of Norte America like cattle.


Indigenas have suffered centuries of injusticias including genocide, rape, torture, mayhem, kidnapping, slavery, peonage, poverty, homelessness and groundless imprisonment at the hands of the original European invaders and occupiers of our Americas.

The offspring of these European terrorists expect Chicanas y Chicanos to ignore or forget this true account of their ancestors’ horrendous atrocities, as if these abominations against our Native American ancestors never occurred or mattered.

As English imperialism via the U.S. government seeks to conquer the entire world, La Raza is increasingly faced with discriminatory law enforcement, housing, education, employment, healthcare, mass media, entertainment and other racist industrial, commercial and institutional policies and practices, especially since 9/11.

The offspring of the European terrorists who originally stole our ancestral lands are guilty of receiving this stolen property. Receiving stolen property is no less a crime than stealing it. These aliens remain in denial as they continue to exploit, oppress and otherwise deprive us of our ancestral lands and freedoms from generation-to-generation much like their terrorist ancestors did against our ancestors for the past few centuries.

U.S. racists are now working to outlaw MEChA and other Movimiento organizations being blamed for “too many Mexicans” and other Indigenas in Norte America today. Local, state and federal government agencies have also made it extremely difficult for the Partido de La Raza Unida to rise politically against this institutionalized harassment, discrimination and persecution in any significant way.

These same racists oppose Chicana y Chicano Studies, affirmative action, financial aid, bilingual and multicultural education, ethnic studies, fair housing, equal employment opportunities and all other ways and means of attempting to create level playing fields for La Raza, as if the U.S. only belongs to Anglo-Americans and everyone else is a second-class citizen at best.


The 21st Century campaign against Mexicans in the U.S.is also aimed at Chicanas y Chicanos since we are all familia. Chicanas y Chicanos have a natural, inherent or innate relationship with Mexicanas y Mexicanos because of our common Native American heritage that is everlasting.Other Indigenas throughout our Americas are suffering from these racist attacks too.

We are all being treated as a threat or potential threat to national security by the racist U.S. government at the local, state, federal and international level.


a) We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America must reach beyond nationalism to establish and(or) coalesce with parallel movements of other Indigenas united around our multilingual, multiracial and multicultural heritage throughout our Americas and on outlying islands.

b) El Movimiento’s mass communication, organization and mobilization initiatives call for Chicanas y Chicanos to join forces with all La Raza against our common exploiters and oppressors because we cannot be free unless and until all La Raza is free.

c) Economic justice cannot be achieved without social and political justice. La Raza must join together as an international union of Indigenas to work for this justicia as opposed to permitting the racists to continue to exploit and oppress La Raza via commercial, industrial and institutional racism from generation-to-generation.

d) This indigenous union must ensure liberty, equality and justice for all Americanas y Americanos so We can all live, work and travel freely in peace and justice throughout our Americas for so long as the rivers flow.

e) The first priority of our new union is to abolish poverty, racism and sexism throughout our Americas.

f) This union must ensure all workers in our Americas receive good jobs and compensation so that all Americanas y Americanos can have nice homes in safe and secure neighborhoods and communities. People unable to work will also have nice homes in these safe and secure neighborhoods and communities because no one will live in poverty or homelessness in our Americas except by her or his own choosing.

g) We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America must ensure our children learn about our indigenous ancestors, at home and in all the schools, colleges and universities of our Americas so they and future generations will know, understand and honor our Native American heritage.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America will live our daily lives in accordance with Nuevo Plan de Aztlan to the best of our abilities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America will encourage Chicana y Chicano organizations everywhere to review, adopt and incorporate Nuevo Plan de Aztlan into their own missions, goals and objectives so all Indigenas can stand united against the new wave of racial harassment, discrimination and persecution La Raza faces in the 21st Century.

Copyright 2008 Internet Mecha. Nuevo Plan de Aztlan may be reproduced, republished and disseminated freely.

Stephanie said...

Well, that's pretty scary, Ruben.

mfranti said...

he should have shot them when the got onto his property.

all of them. kids too.

this way word would have gotten around to the mexicans that it's not a safe place to cross.

it's his property, he has the right to shoot and kill, no?

Stephanie said...

Okay, obviously some of you are missing the bigger point. This guy should not HAVE to defend his property (although I defend his right to do so if the government fails him).

D&C 134:2 says We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

D&C 134:11 says We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

The bigger point is that the government failed him. The government's #1 job is to protect its citizens' rights, and the government is not protecting this particular citizen. I am calling on the government to do a better job in protecting this rancher by securing the border so his property doesn't continue to be destroyed.

Stephanie said...

And to dismiss the ridiculous lawsuit.

The Faithful Dissident said...

The lawsuit is totally bogus. No argument there.

Yes, the gov't *should* do more to protect the border. No argument there.

But, realistically, exactly how are they going to do it? America shares two of the longest land borders in the world both to the north and the south. Sounds like you need more border patrol, which means a WHOLE LOT more gov't employees (if America is serious about protecting its land borders -- not to mention all its sea ports), which conservatives are generally opposed to. You could concentrate efforts at present-time problem spots, but those who really want to get in will just go to another area. Can the gov't justify spending millions of dollars securing one man's ranch in the name of protecting private property when illegals can choose one of the other thousands of kilometres of open border spaces which are virtually impossible to secure?

Personally, I think it's pretty hopeless because of America's unlucky geography of being sandwiched in between 2 huge borders. Unless you build a Pat Buchanan wall, I think I'd consider packing up and moving somewhere else if I were that rancher if things are that bad for him. It's not fair, but is it worth it?

So, could the gov't do more to protect individual private property rights of ranchers like this guy? Probably. Is it economically justifiable? Probably not, especially not right now. Is it logistically feasible? Not with borders that size.

Quimny said...

Firstly, from a political science perspective, a government's #1 job is to protect its citizens, not to protect its citizens rights.

Secondly, I am sure that some Mexicans and Mexican-Americans could make an argument based on "native title" that they have as much right to be on his land as he does. (For more on native title, google "Mabo." Under Australian law native title can only be made on crown land; but when that decision was made it was fairly contraversial and there are many who would like to see it expanded.) A native title claim might include crossing his land peacefully; however it would probably only be relevant to a small group of Mexicans or Mexican-Americans and would probably have clauses about cleaning up after themselves. But I bring up the point to say this: The land did not always belong to white people, and was given to white people through force and a false claim of terra nullius.

Remember that "property" has different definitions depending on cultural context. In certain native American populations, "ownership" is collective and not individual: if a person walks into your yard or into your home and takes something, they are not stealing from you because it already belongs to them, and to everyone else in the community. In the UK, farmers routinely have to open large tracts of land to hikers, and I believe the farmers are responsible for upkeep on the trails: the public has decided that the right of the people to access the land takes precedence over the farmer's ownership rights. In the Phillipines, subsistence farmers are routinely kicked off their land (which they own through traditional means) to make room for a Western corporation which claims to own the land because they bought a title. In Australia, many large landholders have agreements that Aboriginal populations can cross or camp on land that was traditionally theirs. So, in what sense does this rancher "own" his land, and what does that ownership mean to those who are trying to cross it?

I would like to know how many cattle have died from ingesting bottles, and how many cattle he has, total. My guess is that he would probably lose more cattle to snakebite or some other natural cause than to ingesting bottles. My guess is that it is not really a threat to his livelihood. Ranchers would already work into their calculation that a percentage of their cattle would die anyway.

As far as home invasion goes - Most people are murdered by someone they know. I'm not entirely sure on the rape statistics but I believe that very few rapes involve someone breaking into your home. Chances are they just want your stereo. And isn't that why you have insurance?

Anonymous said...

Now 24 hours later, I'm not so irritated, so I can respond without the sarcasm. however, FD and Quimbly already said basically what i have to sa

THe case will be thrown out - especailly in Texas - if they don't throw it out, I'll be surprised.

He's ranching on the border. He bought border land, and there was (likely) immigration before he bought it. If he didn't, somewhere in his mind, WANT to deal with this issue, he'd already have bought different land.

It takes a certian kind of person to round up x amount of people and treat them precisely like cattle - at gun point.

Yes, Stephanie, I think Ranching is a terrible profession - so I just don't have alot of sympathy.

I could see cattle choking on bottles if a Rock concert had been held on his lands - but I just don't see a massive litter epidemic being left from a bunch of people trying to slip unnoticed across the border.

And here's one - is there any proof that the immigrants stole his ol' Chevey and broke into the homestead, or could that have been his drunken teenage son and his hooligan friends?

Steph, your homeland is Texas, so I can't speak for texas - I can, however, speak for Arizona - cause thats mine - and I am so sick of, really, the racism that is so rampant there. So rampant. Its frusterating and upsetting. And it is perpetuated by intitled @&$# that are scared of anything that is a different color or culture than them - just like it was in for the African Americans for so long.

It would have been far more profitable for both of them if he'd have hired them to work the ranch, rather than round 'em up and stick them in the first cattle car back to Mexico

Stephanie said...

Well, I admit that I was no political science major, and I just learn as I go, but I did find this article by Ezra Taft Benson (Secretary of Agriculture before he became Prophet) called "The Proper Role of Government". He says:

It is generally agreed that the most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.

I also found this website called capitalism.com
that says:

What is the purpose of government under capitalism?
It is to protect rights that governments are instituted. A proper government's only responsibility is to protect the rights of the individual, by banning the initiation of force, thus making all relations between men peaceful, i.e., free from the threat of violence and fraud.

so this may be a philosophical difference. Actually, I believe that is the case based on this philosophy website:

A proper government, a government which is designed to allow man to live his life to the fullest according to his nature (as a rational being), is a government which upholds individual rights and does not itself violate them in any way. The name of that political system is Capitalism.

And I always thought capitalism was just about money.

Obviously there are some like Ruben Botello who believe The offspring of the European terrorists who originally stole our ancestral lands are guilty of receiving this stolen property. Receiving stolen property is no less a crime than stealing it. These aliens remain in denial as they continue to exploit, oppress and otherwise deprive us of our ancestral lands and freedoms from generation-to-generation much like their terrorist ancestors did against our ancestors for the past few centuries.

But, the rancher's land is in the United States of America, and it is subject to American law, which means it belongs to him and his rights to own and control it are protected by the 5th Amendment in the Bill of Rights: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I'm not going to chance my safety or the safety of my family on statistics showing that strangers entering a house to rape or kill is a small percentage of the total rapes and murders. I've seen enough stories on the news to know it has happened to many women in my own city. Of course I have precautions (locks, alarm system, etc.), but in the event those fail, I am not afraid to do what I would need to protect my family. I am grateful the second amendment still applies.

Stephanie said...

It is unfortunate, Rick, that the anger people feel about government's failure on immigration sometimes comes out in racism. The problems resulting from illegal immigration are real, particularly for border states who are bearing the brunt. However, the anger and frustration really should be directed toward the government, which needs to fix the immigration problem by making legal immigration easier and more accessible and cracking down in illegal immigration.

jenny said...

hm, i have to defend my fellow arizonans from blanket accusations of racism. just because people want their rights and property to be respected does not mean that they are necessarily racist. of course, some are but not all. aren't their extremes to every situation? i live within an hour of the mexico/arizona border and very close to areas that have frequent illegal border crossings. if you travel near these areas you can see the destruction that illegal border crossings reap upon the environment. there are tons upon tons of abandoned clothing, human waste, etc. littering the landscape. many of these areas resemble landfills. it appears that this gentleman's land is suffering from the same environmental fall-out. i believe he should at least get some sort of financial assistance from the feds to clean up his land. maybe he's the one that should be suing.

The Wizzle said...

Well, I think the lawsuit is ridiculous and I don't think there's much of a chance that it will hold up. I'm sorry that it's happening at the inconvenience of Mr. Rancher, but I don't think it's a bad thing that we examine these laws eriodically and just make sure that any given circumstance (ie, defending his property in the way he has chosen to do so) is within the bounds of law and common decency.

Yes, the government is failing him It's failing all of us. Illegal immigration is a very big problem for EVERYONE. It's far from an ideal situation for the people trying to come here, it's bad for all of us who live here, it's creating a whole illegal market for human beings, which I find despicable. It's Very, Very Bad.

I do think Mr. Rancher has the right to defend his property. I myself cannot imagine shooting a human being for being on my property, no mater what the circumstance. If it was litral self-defense, life and death in that moment, then I could probably do it for the sake of my children. Probably. I don't know. But I sure couldn't do it over a cow, a water bottle, or my livelihood, no mater how noble.

I'm not saying I begrudge Mr. Rancher his outrage, or that this is his fault somehow (although I do take Rick's point that he had to know that buying a huge piece of property on the border was going to be problematic at some point). I'm not saying that it is the "God-given right" of these immigrants to tromp wherever they please, leaving a huge mess in their wake.

All I am saying - trying to remind myself of this, and others too - is that they are human beings. Human beings, not trash. Not objects to be disposed of, or gotten out of the way. They are human lives, and if we are to value human life then surely we can find some tenderness in our hearts for the people who live in these dire, tragic circumstances. They have nothing to defend! At least Mr. Rancher has property, a livelihood - a life!

Again, I'm not saying Mr. Rancher has suffered no injustice. He certainly has, and since he seems to be getting no legal backup from the government I don't blame him at all for taking matters into his own hands. But I do think that if we begin to think that the lives of these "illegals" are not worth saving, the same as mine or one of my children's or Mr. Rancher's, then we have crossed a very dangerous line. Either every life is sacred, or it's not.

The Wizzle said...

Oy, sorry about all the typos, guys. I was previewing and I meant to hit "edit this comment" and I hit "post" instead. Just try to decipher it the best you can. :)

I was going to add in, as well: I'm with FD that our border problem with Mexico will never be solved as long as there is such a drastic discrepancy in our standards of living. We don't have a problem with the Canadian border. I don't think there is a good fix, I really don't. But I do think that since Mr. Rancher has a demonstrated, immediate need for help from the government, he should get it. Yes, once they plug up this hole then another will open somewhere else, no question. But Mr. Rancher absolutely has a right to expect some protection in this instance.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Wizzle, some would say that you guys do have a problem with the Canadian border as well. Not the same type of problem with the Mexican border, but with terrorists getting into the US via Canada. But securing the Canadian border is even more hopeless than securing the Mexican border, IMO, because it's so much longer and so much more remote.

And even if the Mexican border is secured, if they REALLY want to get into the US, they will. All they have to do is fly direct to Canada (where they don't need a visa) and then sneak over at one of the many unguarded crossing points out in the boonies. Like I said, hopeless. The only thing that will ever stop them is, like you said, improving their standard of living so that they have a reason to stay in Mexico. Sometimes, that seems even more hopeless than securing America's borders. The root of the problem, IMO, is poverty. That's why there's not the same kind of problem on the Canadian border. That's why the EU can have open borders. When you have 2 countries beside each other with such a gap in the standard of living (and remember that many Mexicans think that the real standard of living in America is what they see on TV), people aren't desperate to resort to illegal immigration.

Stephanie said...

The root of the problem of poverty in Mexico is the corruption of the Mexican government. Most of the solutions coming from outside of Mexico to "solve" the poverty don't seem to address that fundamental cause.

Drug smugglers and terrorists are both groups of people we want to keep out of the U.S., and FD is right that they currently could get through the Canadian border if they want to.

Anonymous said...

they could also take a rubber raft and float into unprotected harbors at night, if they wanted to. Not sure that that is an entirely relevant observation.

The Faithful Dissident said...

It's easy to assume that corruption breeds poverty (it can, of course), but I think it's almost a bigger problem the other way around. It's true that corruption is found in the richest of countries as well, but it's often in the poorest places that it's most rampant. Why is that? Poverty breeds corruption when every man is left to fend for himself and has to resort to shady means to get by.

Mexico, as just one example, is full of corruption and I'm not just talking politicians, but right down to average people. It doesn't mean they're bad people, it just means that many are trying to survive and get ahead in life. The "mordida" (bribe) is rampant all down through the ranks, especially in law enforcement, which is why the cops can't be trusted there. So when people who are accustomed to a culture of bribery take public office, it naturally follows, but this time on a grander scale.

Poverty -> corruption -> oppression -> more poverty -> more corruption. It's a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult to break. Democratic transparency and accountability in the political system, combined with a system that meets the basic needs of a country's population, are, IMO, the only things that will keep corruption at bay. Even then, it still creeps in every so often.

matt said...

Rick says, "I could see cattle choking on bottles if a Rock concert had been held on his lands - but I just don't see a massive litter epidemic being left from a bunch of people trying to slip unnoticed across the border." You are severely misinformed my friend. If you could only see the pictures of piles of trash. Not to mention the "rape tree" pictures, where women are forced to remove clothing and hand it on the tree. It's kind of like a trophy for the coyotes who take illegals across the boarder.

Rick also says, "I can, however, speak for Arizona - cause thats mine - and I am so sick of, really, the racism that is so rampant there. So rampant. Its frusterating and upsetting. And it is perpetuated by intitled @&$# that are scared of anything that is a different color or culture than them - just like it was in for the African Americans for so long."
Just as many are ignorant when it comes to meat consumption and vegetarianism, you my friend, are ignorant when it comes to this issue. Pleas dont attempt to speak for Arizona. I don't know if you have heard, being that you are in Korea, but Phoenix has the second HIGHEST kidnapping rate in the WORLD!!! We are only second to Mexico.

While racism certainly exists, having feelings that illegal Mexicans don't belong here is not racism.

I think Mexicans are great. I interact with them quite often. They literally are the hardest working people I know, but that doesn't make it right for them to be here.
Mexicans, that is illegal Mexicans, are the second largest downfall to our American economy, Only behind the housing crisis.

I am very happy to see a fence finally being built along the AZ boarder. And no, I am not racist.

Mexico is quite corrupt and I don't blame em' for trying to come here, but that doesn't make it right.

matt said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention the kidnapping rate is directly tied to illegal immigrants.

kapayapaan (peace. a little filipino for ya'll)

Stephanie said...

Here's an even better case for better border control. Don't some of you live in AZ?

Grégoire said...

matt sez:
Mexicans, that is illegal Mexicans, are the second largest downfall to our American economy, Only behind the housing crisis.

Pardon me, but that's such crap I can't believe it.

When decadent North American Whites and Blacks complain about "Mexicans" they aren't actually talking about Mexicans, they're talking about Mestizos (people partly of native American origin) who speak Spanish.

I have a bunch of blonde, Mormon cousins who were born in and live in Mexico (not unlike Mitt Romney, whose father was a Mexican).

@The Faithful Dissident:
What Canada lacks in border security they make up for in secret police (it's called CSIS) and random fascist style checks.

Unlike in the US, where if you look White and speak English it's just assumed you're a citizen, Canadians are constantly asked for proof. Most have wallet sized birth certificates for this purpose. Canadians like me and my kids are forced to carry a wallet sized citizenship certificate anywhere we go. Failure to provide proof is grounds to get you taken downtown and fingerprinted.

You're right about crossings. I lived for a while in Surrey, and I could see illegals (usually Chinese but sometimes Africans also) running across the border into the U.S.. They get here by stowing away on cargo ships and end up down in Seattle or Portland, usually being exploited terribly.

The Faithful Dissident said...

CSIS has nothing up on the CIA.

I'm a half-white Canadian citizen and my mother is a non-white naturalized Canadian citizen. One of my brothers gets mistaken for black or Indian. I think you're exaggerating the birth certificate thing. Although one should always carry some sort of ID with them for practical purposes, wherever they live in the world, you're exaggerating that Canadians, white or non-white, go around carrying their birth certificates everywhere in case the cops decide to hassle them. The only time I ever use mine is to cross the US border. And half the time I can't even follow my own advice about carrying around ID, since I hate carrying around a purse.

Grégoire said...

CSIS has nothing up on the CIA.

You're right, they're two totally different animals.

CSIS can tap a Canadians phone, enter their home secretly and steal their property, and if they really want to, they can abduct a citizen in the middle of the night. The rubber-stamp "court" is secret, except for the fact of its claimed existence, and there's no real oversight on their (mis)behavior.

The CIA can't do anything like this to Americans in the U.S..

In B.C. I get asked for proof of citizenship with every traffic stop. Never happened in the U.S., but then I'm White, and it is happening these days to Mexican-Americans in Arizona. Maybe in 50 years the CIA will be at the level of Canada or El Salvador, which are pretty commensurate.

Brent.H said...

Rick I have to say one thing. If you were to come into my house and I didn't know you I put a hollow point in you first and ask questions later. I think the man did the right thing he has every right to protect his property and not just that but his family as well.

Why should I build a bigger fence, why build at all when I can just sit on my duff and collect welfare from this new, failed administration. Maybe I could call myself a political activist and stand up for the poor defenseless cow or better yet the poor helpless flu ridden immigrant who has no respect for our laws or our country.