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US sued for death of illegal immigrants

Immigration Border Control

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 01:16 AM

http://www.azstarnet...ANTLAWSUIT.html

This is a local story with national implications.

Quote

The families of 14 illegal entrants who died crossing the desert east of Yuma in May 2001 have filed a $42 million lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The lawsuit claims federal border policy forced the immigrants to enter through a treacherous desert area southwest of Tucson known to have little water and that Humane Borders was refused permission to place a water station "in the exact area" where the crossers died.

The lawsuit, filed April 30 in U.S. District Court in Tucson, seeks about $3 million for the families of each of the victims for damages including pain, suffering, grief and expenses.

The border crossers spent five days trekking across the desert in temperatures of more than 110 degrees. The U.S. Border Patrol found the first survivors on May 23, 2001.

The day after the incident, the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness Area placed seven Humane Borders flags marking wildlife water stations migrants could use.

That decision showed the government felt placing water in the desert for people would save lives, said James Metcalf, one of three attorneys who filed the lawsuit.

"They've got all kinds of critters. They also seem to have some human beings running around out there. These folks are still human beings who die at alarming frequencies, and they're aware of that," he said.

By allowing water stations in areas where it formerly prohibited them and by setting up emergency call boxes to save the lives of illegal entrants in the desert, the government has acknowledged people need help to make the journey, he said.

"The government doesn't assume responsibility unless they in fact have one," Metcalf said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which represents the United States in all civil claims, will make no official comment, said Michael Johns, an agency spokesman.

Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders, said his group had filed for permission to set up the water station two months before the deadly desert crossing attempt. The filing was rejected, Hoover said, because of concerns for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn antelope.

In a 2001 letter to Humane Borders, Donald Tiller, manager of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, said his agency decided to reject the group's request to set up a water station because "the use has been determined to be non-compatible with the goals, objectives and purposes of the refuge."

"Then on May 23, they picked up 14 dead bodies," Hoover said. "On May 24, we reapplied, and subsequently they had marked seven of their existing wildlife water stations with our flags and poles we had provided to them."

The purpose of the lawsuit is not to force a change of U.S. border policy, Metcalf said. "I think we would certainly argue factually that some of those policy discretions contributed to the deaths, but it wouldn't be appropriate to try to compel the federal government to change its policies."

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit to benefit families of people who entered the country illegally is wrong, said Wes Bramhall, president of Arizonans for Immigration Control, a Tucson group that advocates support of the Border Patrol and more stringent border policy.

"It's ridiculous," he said. "These people knew what they were doing. They knew they were breaking the law."

He said money, rather than concern for the victims' families, is the motivation for the lawsuit.

"They're doing it for the money, period," he said. "How much do you think the families are going to get? Half maybe?"

Workers for a Florida farm labor contracting company have been sentenced to prison in connection with the fatal journey.

In April, Joel Viveros-Flores, a former foreman at Vazquez Harvesting, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Phoenix to 18 months in prison.

His boss, Francisco Vazquez-Torres, the owner of Vazquez Harvesting, was sentenced on April 4 to 6 1/2 years in prison and fined $125,000.

Jesus Lopez Ramos, one of the guides for the illegal border crossers, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in February 2002.

* Contact reporter Michael Marizco at 573-4213 or at mmarizco@azstarnet.com.

I'm not sure I understand this.

If somebody hijacks my car and crashes it, killing himself, it's not my fault, is it?

Is the US obliged to make it easier for people to cross over? And wouldn't making it easier to cross over encourage more people to try.. and lead to more deaths?

Wouldn't it be a better plan to actually guard the borders, have several UAV's monitoring the area and intercept the immigrants? Grab them, fingerprent them, hand them a glass of water, a sandwich, and send them home....
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#2 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 01:35 AM

Javert Rovinski, on May 8 2003, 11:03 PM, said:

Wouldn't it be a better plan to actually guard the borders, have several UAV's monitoring the area and intercept the immigrants? Grab them, fingerprent them, hand them a glass of water, a sandwich, and send them home....
Agreed we need a single integrated Border Security Force.  Same deal I have proposed before for the WOD could be used to combat illegal immigration.  I’d toss in a few ground based remote sensors in addition to UAVs.
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#3 Kosh

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:41 AM

Quote

Agreed we need a single integrated Border Security Force. Same deal I have proposed before for the WOD could be used to combat illegal immigration.

We could call them Storm Troopers!!!!!

I do agree we need better coverage of the borders, and hopfully, this will be tossed out of court before a lot of money is lost. When people decide to do an illegal thing they take there chances.
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#4 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:54 AM

Kosh, on May 9 2003, 01:28 AM, said:

We could call them Storm Troopers!!!!!
I’d say United States Border Security Force is just fine for a name.  Or the old standy by of US Border Patrol.  

And Imperial Stormtroopers got beat up by teddy bears… :p
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
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#5 Bossy

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 07:00 AM

I think that its absolutely ridiculous that a lawsuit should be filed because someone died while committing a crime. It reminds me of a case I heard about several years ago. This guy breaks into someone's home. The guy shoots him in the leg, and the intuder sued because he was permanently handicapped. The worst part was ............. he won.  :angry:
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#6 Godeskian

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:12 AM

or like Tony martin in England

he shot a burglar, and is currently in jail for murder.

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#7 Chrys

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:27 AM

Umm, it wasn't a criminal thing, but a woman sued a store because an unruly child was running around and she tripped over said kid and broke a leg.  She won.  The amazing thing was, the kid was hers and she had been asked to calm junior down or leave within the five minutes prior to the accident.
Do not disturb. I had a hard enough time getting turbed in the first place.
I bought some batteries, but they weren't included. So I had to buy them again.

#8 Julie

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:55 AM

Chrys, on May 9 2003, 02:14 AM, said:

Umm, it wasn't a criminal thing, but a woman sued a store because an unruly child was running around and she tripped over said kid and broke a leg.  She won.  The amazing thing was, the kid was hers and she had been asked to calm junior down or leave within the five minutes prior to the accident.
Actually, according to snopes.com that case never actually happened.  See this page.

#9 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 02:53 PM

Godeskian, on May 9 2003, 05:59 AM, said:

or like Tony martin in England

he shot a burglar, and is currently in jail for murder.
*blink*   I guess some liberals figure when your house is being invaded you should ask in the burglar for tea and crumpets…
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#10 Godeskian

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 02:59 PM

It gets worse CJ,

I'll be starting a thread very shortly about the goverments lawyers reccomending that Burglars be accorded all the normal civil rights with regards to injuries suffered.

So yes, that means if you hurt a person robbing you, under any circumstances, it will be treated as if you approached a stranger in the street and layed into the with a baseball bat.

political correctness strikes again  :glare:

#11 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:01 PM

Javert Rovinski, on May 8 2003, 11:03 PM, said:

The day after the incident, the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness Area placed seven Humane Borders flags marking wildlife water stations migrants could use.
You know I wonder if the Feds can turn it around and make it a case against this Humane Borders group.  You might have a case for aiding and abetting in breaking US Federal immigration laws….
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#12 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:03 PM

Godeskian, on May 9 2003, 12:46 PM, said:

I'll be starting a thread very shortly about the goverments lawyers reccomending that Burglars be accorded all the normal civil rights with regards to injuries suffered.

So yes, that means if you hurt a person robbing you, under any circumstances, it will be treated as if you approached a stranger in the street and layed into the with a baseball bat.
I think I’m beginning to see why some people are interested in getting out of the UK.  I wonder too how that will be applied if the police have to use force or lethal force to stop a criminal.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#13 Godeskian

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:06 PM

exactly 48 hours after i get that greencard i'll be packed and ready to leave. this countries laws are getting more and more bizarre as time goes by.

And by my reading of the proposals by the goverments laywers, a policeman using lethal force would be treated as if he had used lethal force on a civilian who wasn't burgeling.

Defy Gravity!


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#14 sierraleone

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:50 PM

What if *you* (and family) didn't hurt them? I remember hearing of a case of a burgler who hurt themself falling through something with glass (a window table??? *shrugs*) they hurt themselves somehow nothing to do with what the family did. The burgler sued and won.
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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