Jun 15, 2006

On Water and Illegal Immigrants

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Left: Water aid station near Sierra Vista, AZ, courtesy of Desertinvasion.us.

I read with great dismay the news story about vandals deliberately draining water containers placed in the desert near Tuscon, AZ. A group named Humane Borders maintains the water supplies near areas where illegal immigrants are known to pass.

"We save lives by doing this," said volunteer Frank Saavedra. "I don't know how many, but if it's only one it's worth it."

Unknown persons have dumped out the containers, destroyed flags that mark their location, and have even put bullet holes in them, ostensibly to discourage illegal immigrants from crossing the border.

I recognize the deleterious effects of illegal immigration on the wages of working citizens, and I also understand the anger felt by many residents of states on or near the Mexican border.

I do not understand the mindset of a person who would sabotage a tank to deny a human being a drink of water.

Recently I saw an interview with a representative of anti-immigration group, and he said that providing medical care, water, or food to illegal immigrants was like "feeding a stray dog."

"If you feed them, they will keep coming back," he added.

I am not sure that the canine analogy is accurate (or even appropriate), but if a stray dog appeared on my property, and needed water or a meal, I would give him one. I would then call the Humane Society or the dog warden to deal with the problem.

Vandalizing humane services for illegal immigrants will not stop the flow of people across the border. This phenomenon is driven by the disparity in economic opportunities between the United States and Mexico, and illegal immigration will only end when the standard of living among Mexico's poor improves.

Destroying water supplies will, however, be likely to increase the number of dead bodies in the desert. My hope is that the water station vandals can find better ways to contribute to the problem of illegal immigration than atacking humanitarian efforts.

13 comments:

Kate said...

You know, I have decided my next project. I'm going to compile a list of these political statements and then find out how many of the speakers are the product of an immigrant/s.

I know that I am. I know that to dehumanize these people because they want to live in the US (excepting criminals/terrorists) and enjoy the same life that we all have is a tragic statement on these people's character.

To compare a human being with an animal to justify denying them water - what in the hell has this country come to?

Now - if you don't agree with something - you sabotage their right access to water so that they will die?

Unfreakingbelievable.

Lisa Renee said...

If you read comments from the Arizona Daily Star, the majority of these people are applauding the destruction of these water stations.

Kate said...

To read those comments made me feel sick to my stomach. I'm pretty ashamed of all of this right now. I always thought America was compassionate enough not to want people to die from not having water. No matter who they are.

Dariush said...

People who live in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico are the ones who are the most angry about the immigration situation. So seeing the comments on the Daily Star's website didn't surprise me one bit. Half a dozen years ago, when a group of ranchers banded together to protect their property from illegals (I think it was called "Ranch Rescue") polls at azstarnet showed overwhelming support for the group's activities.

A couple of the comments at the link Lisa provided reminded me of something else. A couple of years ago I was looking through an American Indian discussion forum and, much to my amazement, discovered that many of the folks there were also very much against the whole open borders thing.

Bush has lost a great deal of support from his base over this one issue alone.

Dariush said...

Whaddaya know? Ranch Rescue are still around.

Scroll down a little to where the "Border News" section starts and read up.

I hate to sound like one of those "you won't hear about this in the liberal media" types, but...

liberal_dem said...

An angry knot of people with hate in their hearts can do terrible things to others.

Dariush said...

Mike,

Off topic, but this story reminded me of the anecdote you posted here a couple of days ago about your encounter with our domestic stasi.

Christine Brannan said...

I'm here in AZ, so this is nowhere NEAR shocking. The extreme discompassion for human beings is crazy here, in general. Does it shock me that people do this? No. Does it sicken me? Yes.

I understand and agree with the concerns about the illegal immigration... but THIS is not the answer.

Anchorage Activist said...

This illustrates how desperate the situation has become. The Federal government, sitting on its throne in a state of thoughtless stupor, is hopelessly out of touch with the mainstream American population on this issue. President Bush is slowly and belatedly recognizing this fact.

When government does not fulfill its fundamental responsibility to protect our borders, people will act independently. We should consider ourselves fortunate that the water tanks were merely destroyed and not poisoned. Government needs to get its nose out of our bedrooms and our classrooms and return to its constitutionally-prescribed, taxpayer-financed responsibilities. Illegal immigrants pose a greater threat to society than middle-aged bloggers who take pictures of their state capitol.

I am first-generation native-born American in my family. However, my German grandfather did not sneak across the border; he took a number and waited in line like so many other immigrants did. When you excuse illegality out of compassion, you invite retaliation and vigilantiism.

Kate said...

I just think it's sad that these people are in dire enough straits that they feel desperate enough to have to walk, and it is documented that so many do die in the desert from dehydration.

These are still people. To deny a thirsty person a drink of water is the work of the devil. We can comprehend that it is wrong to do this to animals -

Brian said...

I'm all for a crackdown on illegal immigration, but this is just sick.

Some people just have no sense of priority.

Hooda Thunkit said...

”I do not understand the mindset of a person who would sabotage a tank to deny a human being a drink of water.”
I think that these “watering stations” are seen as enabling the illegals, who are engaging in criminal behavior, after all.


”Recently I saw an interview with a representative of anti-immigration group, and he said that providing medical care, water, or food to illegal immigrants was like "feeding a stray dog."

"If you feed them, they will keep coming back," he added.”
This, (ignoring the stray dog analogy) is very true, but a very bad (and heartless) example of enabling criminals and criminal behavior.


”I am not sure that the canine analogy is accurate (or even appropriate), but if a stray dog appeared on my property, and needed water or a meal, I would give him one. I would then call the Humane Society or the dog warden to deal with the problem.”
The analogy is inappropriate. However, enablers would render comfort and aid and let the illegals on their way, and by doing so, become criminals themselves…


”Vandalizing humane services for illegal immigrants will not stop the flow of people across the border. This phenomenon is driven by the disparity in economic opportunities between the United States and Mexico, and illegal immigration will only end when the standard of living among Mexico's poor improves.”
You’re right, vandalizing the enabling “human services” will NOT stop the flow, and the disparity in economic opportunities is the driving force behind this behavior.

But, the economic disparity between our countries is not totally within our control. Mexico is a sovereign country responsible for their living conditions and that of their citizens. In the same vein, we are responsible for protecting and defending our borders; something that most in power these days seem to find distasteful.


”Destroying water supplies will, however, be likely to increase the number of dead bodies in the desert. My hope is that the water station vandals can find better ways to contribute to the problem of illegal immigration than attacking humanitarian efforts.”
My hope is that first, protecting our borders will eliminate the stream of illegals invading our country, and second, that legal immigration will allow all who wish to come to our country, work, prosper and contribute, making America a better place to live for all.

Unfortunately neither of us alone has the power to fix this, but our representatives (who do), apparently, won’t. Indeed, they are the bigger problem.

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