Immigration

Border Patrol Destroys Humanitarian Aid in the Arizona Desert

A new report documents the Border Patrol's interference with humanitarian work.

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Border Patrol sign at U.S.-Mexico border
Larry Gevert/Dreamstime.com

Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage the efforts of groups providing humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a new report from the group No More Deaths. The paper documents in detail the destruction of food, water, and other supplies the group's members have left for people attempting border crossings in the remote and hazardous Arizona desert.

"Our analysis leads us to believe that Border Patrol agents engage in regular and widespread destruction of water supplies with little or no apparent consequence," reads the report. The paper argues that this vandalism is part of a wider, decades-long ramp-up of immigration enforcement that had led to more hazardous border crossings, and consequently to an explosion in migrant deaths.

No More Deaths—covered in a recent Reason feature on the immigration crackdown—operates over an 2,500-square-mile section of the Arivaca area of Arizona. The all-volunteer group maintains over a hundred water-drops (supply caches stocked with water, food, and blankets) and a medical relief station in the remote and inhospitable region.

The new report looks at three years of logs kept by No More Deaths volunteers covering their efforts to resupply these water-drops, finding between 2013 and 2015 some 415 separate incidents where their food and/or water had been vandalized or destroyed.

Of 31,558 gallons of water it left in the desert by No More Deaths, over 10 percent, or some 3,586 gallons, were destroyed by human hands. Hunters, hikers, and occasional anti-immigrant activists might be responsible for some of this vandalism. But "the scope of destruction is over a pretty wide area," says Jeff Reinhardt, a member of No More Death's desert aid working group. "It's an area that generally Border Patrol is the only actor consistently present and consistently has access to that land."

No More Death found that their water-drops had been vandalized at an even rate both throughout the year and across the area that they service, save for a minor uptick in vandalism during hunting season. Yet the Arivaca area is under the jurisdiction of a hodgepodge of state, federal, and tribal agencies, along with a small number of private property owners. The area also lacks the road infrastructure that would make it accessible to most vehicles.

No More Deaths has also caught Border Patrol agents on video four separate times destroying water jugs by stomping on them, cutting them open, or pouring them out on the ground. The group's members have also found water jugs dyed to look like antifreeze with Spanish language messages scrawled on the bottles, warning people not to drink them.

In addition to the destruction of humanitarian supplies, immigration officials also raided No More Death's main medical aid station in the Arivaca in June 2017, and agents have reportedly harassed, detained, and surveilled the group's volunteers.

Steven Passement, acting special operations supervisor for the Tuscon Sector of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), says that while individual agents have destroyed supplies, doing so is in contradiction to agency policy.

"We don't condone or encourage the destruction or tampering with any of the water or local food caches," Passement tells Reason, adding that "if someone has information regarding an agent, one of our employees, doing something like that, doing any damage, we definitely want to know about this to hold this individual accountable."

Passement says that far from being opposed to the mission of No More Deaths and similar groups operating along the border, CBP is working toward the same aims.

"Nobody here in the Border Patrol wants to see anybody die out there or suffer in the desert. We have that goal of also saving lives," he says, adding that CBP has installed 34 rescue beacons in the same area No More Deaths operates, allowing lost or distressed migrants to call for help.

In 2016, these beacons were activated 232 times, leading to some 364 people being picked up by Border Patrol agents. Those who use these beacons to call for help are subject to detention and possible deportation.

The No More Deaths report argues that mixing medical assistance with immigration enforcement is contradictory: Any offer of aid that comes with the threat of deportation creates a huge incentive for undocumented migrants not to seek help at all. The group also calls it "a band-aid solution to a crisis of [the Border Patrol's] own making." The very fact that people are crossing in the deeply inhospitable Arivaca area is the result, the group says, of an explicit policy of "prevention through deterrence."

Conceived in 1994, the prevention through deterrence strategy called for a big increase in the number of Border Patrol agents and border fencing to close down the traditional (and safer) migration corridors into the United States.

"The prediction," reads the strategy document outlining this policy, "is that with traditional entry and smuggling routes disrupted, illegal traffic will be deterred, or forced over more hostile terrain, less suited for crossing and more suited for enforcement."

Since then, the number of agents patrolling the southwestern border has ballooned from 3,747 in 1994 to 16,605 in 2017. This was matched by an explosion in the amount of fencing on the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border, growing from a mere 60 miles in 2000 to over 700 miles by 2017.

The government's prediction came half-true. Illegal immigration was not deterred, with the number of border apprehensions staying roughly consistent until the Great Recession. But more people were indeed forced into more hostile terrain, leading to rapid increase in the numbers of migrants dying in their efforts to enter the United States.

In 1998, 263 migrants died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The Tucson Sector—where No More Deaths' activity is primarily located—saw a mere 11 deaths that year. By 2005, that number had jumped to 492 deaths along the entire border, 219 of them in the Tucson sector.

The increase was so rapid that the Pima County Medical Examiner's office, which covers a swath of southern Arizona, started to keep detailed records on the deaths of undocumented immigrants in 2000.

Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Gregory Hess tells Reason that in the 1990s, the county received the remains of around 12 undocumented immigrants a year. From 2002 to 2016, the annual number spiked to about 170.

Pima Country recovered the remains of 2,615 undocumented migrants from 2001 to 2016. Due to the advanced decomposition of most of the bodies, the number one cause of death is undetermined, followed closely by "exposure."

Hess and his staff have been able to identify 1,676 of these people, returning the remains to their families. The 35 percent of undocumented migrant remains discovered in Pima County that go unidentified are interred at the county cemetery.

That was the backdrop when No More Deaths was founded in 2002. Since then the group has grown from a small clutch of activists and churchgoers to a multigenerational organization working with medical professionals, EMTs, and wilderness first responders.

Thanks in part to their efforts, overall deaths on the southwestern border are mercifully down from their 2005 peak of 492 to 294 deaths in 2017. But Reinhardt says the situation will stay dire as long as the immigration system continues to exclude the vast majority of people who want to move here. "We want to see that system dismantled, piece by piece, to allow for a more reasonable way for people to come to this country," he says. "The Border Patrol stands in the way of that happening."

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170 responses to “Border Patrol Destroys Humanitarian Aid in the Arizona Desert

  1. The border patrol is trying to minimize deaths on the US border by discouraging dangerous treks across the desert.

    Planting water supplies in this inhospitable territory simply encourages dangerous activities.

    1. How absolutely noble of them to destroy supplies left for people the Border Patrol knows will be coming through that area.

      1. When the ‘humanitarian aid’ amounts to aiding and abetting it’s hardly surprising that a law enforcement agency would intervene.

        Maybe it would be more humanitarian to do things that might obviate their desire to sneak into the US? Maybe try to make their country of origin something other than corrupt shitholes.

        1. Re: Thomas

          Maybe it would be more humanitarian to do things that might obviate their desire to sneak into the US?

          What would that be besides Making America Grating Again? Perhaps making America poorer just to discourage immigrants? Because increasing the State’s level of violence is not conducive to a prosperous nation.

          Maybe try to make their country of origin something other than corrupt shitholes.

          But they don’t want to improve that country. They want to improve this country by being productive (and free) here. Your proposition is ridiculous, not unlike saying Chinese television sets should stay in China for the improvement of Chinese viewing experience instead of ours. What the fuck is it to you?

          1. “But they don’t want to improve that country”

            Yeah that’s part of the problem.

          2. Why is any of this my, or my country’s concern?

            Your question begging is duly noted.

          3. But they don’t want to improve that country. They want to improve this country by being productive (and free) here

            I’m sure they have good intentions. Unfortunately, they don’t succeed.

            What the fuck is it to you?

            I pay money for most those Mexicans that come to the US. I’m assuming you don’t.

          4. But they don’t want to improve that country.

            and THERE is the root of the problem. Mexico, and much of Central America, have for decades been Sholes. Corrupt and tyrannical governments continually voted in by the people, etc. If Mexican citizens ould decide they’d had more than enough, rise up and throw off the yoke of tyranny rather than simply escape, leaving their compatriots to rot in the Shole country that is their land of birth, perhaps Mexico COULD become something we would clamour to get into, rathar than they would want to escape.

            Most who come here have no love for anything besides their own skins. They come here to take, coast, freeload. Yes, some come here to WORK, but most of that mindset are already working at home, so why would they escape?

            1. Of course, we could say the same of Americans who leave high-tax high-crime blue states for more responsibly-run red states. But at least when they leave their shitholes, they’re not breaking the law…

          5. “What the fuck is it to you?”

            Aside from abandoning the notion of Rule of Law, its a matter of the net economic drain on our nation. The cost of providing illegal immigrants with housing, health, welfare, education, and law enforcement far exceeds the meager amount collected from the minority of them who pay taxes. At the same time, their presence depresses wages and employment for citizens and legal immigrants.

            But I guess as long as they or their progeny will eventually vote Democrat, that’s OK, right?

    2. Re: EColi,

      — The border patrol is trying to minimize deaths on the US border by discouraging dangerous treks across the desert. —

      Just like the Romans discouraged dangerous slave uprisings by putting up a string of crucified people along the main highway. Yes, I see it now.

      1. As the Romans were the original fascists you’ve just Godwinned yourself.

        1. Trump has him acting deranged. I hope It’s temporary and not a legitimate descent into madeness.

    3. Amen to that, E. The problems of improper food storage aside, the soft minded/big hearted have created an attractive hazard. And… if they have successfully loaded out a complete route for travel, that likely means they are coordinating with coyotes which is conspiracy and whatever host of other charges follow. If they only have half a route stocked… they are leading people to their death where they can’t go back and they can’t go on.

    4. Planting water supplies in this inhospitable territory simply encourages dangerous activities.

      Yeah, the very argument they put forth, “mixing medical assistance with immigration enforcement is contradictory” applies equally to both sides.

      “You’re not even bright enough to stay out of the desert or pack enough water, so come to the US.” is an immigration ‘policy’ so dumb I could only imagine Shikha Dalmia would support it (but just for Indians).

      1. Tech support, not casinos.

    5. The border patrol is trying to minimize deaths on the US border by discouraging dangerous treks across the desert.

      Well, then, the border patrol should cut off the limbs of everyone they catch crossing illegally. That will minimize deaths on the US border by discouraging dangerous treks across the desert.

      1. My God. Such insight!

    6. Also……………….

      First!

    7. Is it part of their charter to destroy other people’s objects on public and tribal lands? Supposedly they have a lot on their hands tracking all these people down, how do they have time to destroy these stations in addition to the work already cut out for them?

  2. “Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage the efforts of groups providing humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border…”

    Good. However, next time try to use words that are actually accurate in representing your point of view.

    “Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage the efforts of groups providing humanitarian aid to illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border…” Fixed it for you.

    1. ‘Migrants’ is an accurate and neutral term to describe people migrating from one place to another.

      1. Barbed wire and machine guns sabotaged the efforts of illegal aliens to cross the German border.

        1. It is illegal for me to imprison you on my land with barbed wire and guns. It is perfectly legal for me to exclude you from my land with barbed wire and guns.

          The wrong committed by East Germany was to imprison its citizens, not to keep West Germans out.

          1. Hmmm… killing people who want to come to this country to work and be with their families? That’s not the world I want to live in.

            1. Kindly leave, then.

              1. Yeah, Eric, don’t you know that neither compassion nor justice have any place in human society? In a nation that prides itself on its “Christian” values? The religious right’s savior was a brown-skinned refugee. They can’t wait for him to come back so they can crucify him again.

    2. I think that one might be more accurately phrased as, “Humanitarian asshats routinely sabotage the efforts of the Border Patrol agents performing their legal and legitimate function of securing the border”, no?

      1. Cross an arbitrary human-made line in the desert…

        Punishment: Death by thirst. Fair and humane law enforcement, to illegal-human-hating libertarians…

        Then we wonder why libertarians cannot win many elections!

        1. So, rather than leaving them water to facilitate further travel, why not help bring them safely into custody, where they will no doubt be given adequate hydration?

          1. Yes, why don’t the Border Patrol do that?

            1. The border patrol does do just that. It’s the ‘humanitarians’ who strangely do not.

              1. Apparently not – since it seems its the Border Patrol destroying water supplies instead of staking them out.

              2. The border patrol shoots them. Hunts them down like animals and shoots them.

        2. Yes, if only Libertarians made Open Borders their top political priority.

          We’d never lose another election again!

        3. I seem to remember, once upon a time, there was a libertarian concept known as “voluntary assumption of risk”, which appears to have shimmied up a rope and vanished.

          1. I’m not sure that really applies here, since they’re actively interfering with private aid. But I actually think they should; we have to discourage people very strongly from attempting that trip.

            1. You don’t think voluntary assumption of risk app oes when people volunteer themselves to cross a dangerous area they are told to avoid?

              Um, ok.

              The private aid part isn’t part of the picture. Do you even understand what you’re talking about?

              1. Why so angry?

                Of course voluntary assumption of risk applies to everything anyone freely does; that is trivial. The issue is if the issue has any particular relevance to the action of actively impeding aid given by one private party to another. And no, I don’t see how it does. Voluntary assumption of risk means the party in question has no particular claim against the government or anyone else should no one come to help him in the event of misfortune. It’s neither here nor there about one party impeding another party from choosing to aid a third party, though that party is indeed not owed that aid by anyone. That question will have to be settled for other reasons. (And here, as I said, the government is indeed justified in its actions.)

                1. “Why so angry?”

                  I wasn’t. You are like that awful ex we have had who thinks no matter the method of disagreement, you’re “angry”

                  “Of course voluntary assumption of risk applies to everything anyone freely does; that is trivial.”

                  DiegoF|1.18.18 @ 11:25AM|#

                  I’m not sure that really applies here

                  Ok, NOW you’re like that crazy ex we had who thinks every disagreement is you being angry, and you’re gaslighting.

                  1. Having looked at my post twice, you are defintiely that crazy ex who thinks any disagreement is unbridled hostility bordering on physical assault.

                    1. Dude, I don’t know what issues you have with your ex but chill, not everyone is her.

                      any disagreement is unbridled hostility bordering on physical assault

                      Nope. Where the fuck did I say anything remotely like that?

                      This is what you said:

                      Do you even understand what you’re talking about?

                      You said this to a person you have never met, who had expressed no hostility to you, who just said something you disagreed with or, yes, felt was stupid. This is not really a normal reaction to that social situation. I reacted oddly because your behavior was odd.

                    2. “You said this to a person you have never met, who had expressed no hostility to you, who just said something you disagreed with or, yes, felt was stupid.”

                      And you assumed that disagreement was anger. For no reason. Like a crazy ex.

                      Don’t chafe at the label, honey, you earned it.

            2. I’m not sure that really applies here, since they’re actively interfering with private aid.

              This is the part that isn’t/wasn’t clear to me. I understand it’s their water, but is it ‘their’ desert to be littering with these aid packages? If I leave me water bottle in the park and someone pours it out, waters the flowers, uses it as a thunder jug, and tosses it in the garbage (or not) I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve absconded with or destroyed my property.

              1. No, that part, obviously that is not a legal right that private citizens have on any variety of Federal property. But the article claims that the border agents have been doing much more than simply confiscating items littering the desert. I was more talking about that. (There’s also the fact that, according to the article, not all of the desert is Federal land. It wouldn’t ordinarily be legitimate at all for them to take it upon themselves to police litter of this sort in such areas.)

                1. Sorry, I don’t talk to my crazy ex.

                  1. That was a reply to Mr. Casual, you batshit narcissist. You are not the only person on this board.

                    1. “you batshit narcissist.”

                      definitely not a crazy ex thing to say

                    2. Dude I certainly hope you’re fucking around and you don’t actually have these issues. Which, OK you got me.

                    3. Sorry, I don’t talk to my crazy ex. As an aside, get help.

                2. (There’s also the fact that, according to the article, not all of the desert is Federal land. It wouldn’t ordinarily be legitimate at all for them to take it upon themselves to police litter of this sort in such areas.)

                  Sure, but if the land owners themselves aren’t the one’s complaining, I don’t see the No More Deaths people having even the slightest bit of standing in the matter.

                  Moreover, confiscation and pouring down the drain vs. slashing the bottles in the middle of the desert sounds like a silly distinction for a Frank Herbert novel.

                  There’s enough ambiguity IMO, that it’s hardly clear that No More Deaths can do anything besides bitch and moan or shut up and put out more water.

                  Personally, I hope this ends up with bodycams and no oversight in order to protect these tragically common water dumps.

                  1. Oh, the No More Deaths people certainly don’t have much of a complaint. They seem to be immigration activists on more than this issue, so I’m hardly suprised they overreached.

                    The article talks about the agents raiding and harassing a manned NMD camp though, which ordinarily wouldn’t be something they should do.

                    In the event that guests on Federal land somehow were facing risks that they had not willingly assumed–like, say, a map at Yellowstone showed that safe drinking water was available in an area (and not “subject to change”) but was not; or a banister on a Federal office building staircase was loose–then the government would itself have the responsibility to remedy that, not even leaving it up to volunteers.

            3. This basically the same thing as supporting the US’ poisoning of alcohol supplies during Prohibition.

            4. This basically the same thing as supporting the US’ poisoning of alcohol supplies during Prohibition.

            5. This basically the same thing as supporting the US’ poisoning of alcohol supplies during Prohibition.

              1. I guess the squirrels strongly agree?

              2. This basically the same thing as supporting the US’ poisoning of alcohol supplies during Prohibition.

                Setting aside the fact that they are still giving, not giving is taking poisoning?

                Have libertarians gone batshit insane?

                1. I would suck a row of dirty bum dicks if any of them are actually libertarian.

                  1. I bet there are a few libertarian bums out there who’d take you up on the offer!

                    1. Good thing for me none of them have posted here.

                    2. No, no, that was the joke–the ambiguity of your sentence. Bah! No one appreciates fine humor anymore.

                    3. Good thing for me none of them have posted here.

                      A-hem.

                    4. Please Crusty, I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it! We all remember and love you. Everyone can have things slip their mind once in a while!

              3. This basically the same thing as supporting the US’ poisoning of alcohol supplies during Prohibition.

                This is still done as incentive to not dodge alcohol tax. If you look carefully at one of those metal jugs in the paint area at your location hardware store, you’ll find that it’s been denatured with methanol, which will do insane liver damage, make you go blind, and sometimes just straight-up kill you.

                Britain denatures their with embittering agents that make it unpleasant to drink, but presumably some folks still do.

                I’ve never seen anyone drinking out a jug of paint thinner, so I guess it works? At some point we gotta draw a line and say, “if you’re dumb enough to drink poison, maybe it’s impossible to save you.”

                Now whether I agree with the fact that 90% of the price of bottom shelf vodka is taxes, that’s another issue entirely.

                1. This is still done as incentive to not dodge alcohol tax. If you look carefully at one of those metal jugs in the paint area at your location hardware store, you’ll find that it’s been denatured with methanol, which will do insane liver damage, make you go blind, and sometimes just straight-up kill you.

                  This is different. Industrial production and distillation of non-potable alcohols makes the separation of methanol from ethanol (not to mention other alcohols, aldehydes, and industrial solvents and compounds) difficult and/or costly. There is certainly an element of taxation involved and other countries certainly do actively participate in the practice. But your average can of alcohol here in the US can just as accurately be described as ‘unfit for human consumption’ as ‘adulterated to prevent illegal consumption’.

                  1. Wow again with the facts, mad.casual. Get the hell out of here. The boiling points of ethanol and methanol are very close, and that’s why I very sparingly drink moonshine. It’s not easy to properly distill. I don’t want to smash my body with formaldehyde along with the acetalaldehyde that alcohol always bequeaths me.

                    If I had to guess .. ChemE?

                2. I guess we should go out and poison the drugs too then? Don’t break the law and you don’t have to worry about it.

                  1. Side note – it wasn’t done to encourage people to pay the alcohol tax but to prevent people who’ve bought legitimate supplies (for one of the few legal uses of the stuff at the time) from ‘diverting’ it into the drinking economy.

                    You can still can still use that alcohol you bought for legal purposes – sterilization, for example – but it’ll fuck you up if you drink it.

                  2. Anyone remember “paraquat”?

          2. So I can go and destroy many, most, or all of the drinking water sources in your intended path of travel… Food and shelter too I suppose?… And then explain away your resulting death, as a choice that you voluntarily made? So all the dead illegal humans out there are just suicides? I have heard of “suicide by cop” (very-very often not at all the fault of bad actors among police), and now, we have “suicide by actions and actors funded by taxes forced from me at gunpoint” by what are clearly malicious or bad actors in border patrol!

            Am I as a taxpayer, and a person attempting to be humane and promote humanity, crazy for objecting to this?

            1. Wow, now there’s a truly honest argument.

              Just, maybe not the sort of honesty you want to do in public.

            2. “So I can go and destroy many, most, or all of the drinking water sources in your intended path of travel… Food and shelter too I suppose?”

              When you have to resort to hyperbolic hypothetical that don’t even accurately portray the situation, you have lost.

        4. “Cross an arbitrary human-made line ”

          Piss off the humans that made it?

          I’m really, honestly not sure why so many of you fall back on this trope.

          1. An arbitrary human-made line that enables all sorts of people to reach into my wallet at will.

            That line.

        5. Cross an arbitrary human-made line in the desert…

          Punishment: Death by thirst.

          This is hilarious. It’s like the old joke about falling off a building not being so bad, it’s hitting the ground that sucks. Except, in this case, firefighters catch you with an air cushion and escort you back up to the top of the building where you came from and that makes them the bad guys. Maybe if they allowed for a few more awnings and weren’t so stern about drawing silly lines at the surface of the Earth, there might be fewer deaths.

        6. If you jump off a building and break your leg, you have not been punished. If you walk into a desert uncoerced and die of thirst or heat stroke, you have not been punished. Punishment requires a third party to actively do something to you.

          1. Yes, there’s an active third party here which is deliberately, actively, and maliciously depriving humans of aid that is intended for them. Open wasteland desert is hardly horribly damaged by a few plastic water jugs… Exposure to the UV rays of the sun will obliterate them soon enough. And humans are dying, because malicious people… FUNDED BY MY TAX DOLLARS!!!… Are actively being killed by being deprived of this aid! I can’t see why “Punishment: Death by thirst.” is not an honest label here.

            1. I can’t see why “Punishment: Death by thirst.” is not an honest label here

              Which is why you’re being pilloried.

              1. Which is why you’re being pilloried.

                To Death! By third parties!

                1. Oh the Huge Manatee

                2. Via snu-snu!

            2. Who is doing this is not clear. That it is mostly the border patrol is speculation by a group who are against what the border patrol does in the first place.

            3. Pretty sure that “giving aid” to someone, to assist them in breaking the law is, in and of itself, breaking the law.
              Not sure why the border patrol, or some other law enforcement agency isn’t arresting these law-breakers, whose sole intent is to provide encouragement to people engaging in breaking our federal laws.
              Maybe the border patrol has better things to do and is eliminating these illegal efforts to assist law-breakers when they stumble upon them. And these idiotic anti-Americans do their aid-giving surreptitiously, which is prima facie evidence that they know what they are doing is illegal and wrong.

        7. Cross an arbitrary human-made line in the desert… PunishmentSelf-inflicted consequence: Death by thirst.

          FTFY

          LIke: “Cross an arbitrary human-made line between your property and mine. Consequences: several, and generally bad for you.”

          1. I never get why a person who believes in private property would think that denigrating the notion that an imaginary, man made line should have legalities associated with it is a killer turn of logic.

            1. I was just pondering this. While I’m sketchy on whether the feds really “own” all of that land, it is agreed upon by all geographic participants that this arbitrary line is where we’ve defined “our” respective pieces. The border is functionally identical to any other property in my view.

              1. Borders define where the laws if a particular sovereignty hold sway. Would a libertarian wsnt say German speech laws to hold sway outside of the borders of Germany? That borders are more than
                mere arbitrary lines is generally a good thong.

          2. When both sides of a line agree as to its location, it seems to cease to be “arbitrary”.
            The Mexican government certainly agrees as to where the border is, as do we.

    3. I don’t get Libertarians who subscribe to open border theories. Let’s assume [pure fantasy] that Libertarians sweep congress and take the presidency in 2020, and that they are led by an open border bozo at the top of the ticket. Now what? Is there any hope to promote/protect other things and promote any philosophy of governance when… there is effectively no nation as jurisdiction is swept aside by foreigners unilaterally declaring themselves Americans? That is what an open border represents. Some people just can’t think.

      1. “as jurisdiction is swept aside by foreigners unilaterally declaring themselves Americans”

        What a lovely straw man you’ve built there – allow me to set it on fire for you.

        While I don’t subscribe to open border theories myself, I have seen enough commentary by people who do to know that they don’t subscribe to the idea that foreigners can unilaterally declare themselves Americans. They can unilaterally decide to move here, but the US still gets to decide who can be citizens, and the process by which that occurs, because naturalization does not automatically happen as a result of immigration.

  3. But Reinhardt says the situation will stay dire as long as the immigration system continues to exclude the vast majority of people who want to move here. “We want to see that system dismantled, piece by piece, to allow for a more reasonable way for people to come to this country,” he says.

    If they have their way, it won’t be “this” country any more.

    1. Prior to the 1920s crossing the border required no documentation, yet somehow this country was able to exist for over 130 years.

      1. Prior to 1920 we did not have a post 1965 welfare state.

        Pick one.

        1. If you consider Social Security as part of the welfare state? A defendable position I think? Then we have to keep in mind that the illegal humans under-write the SS thingee (with no real hopes of getting their money back) to the tune of 10-12 billion $ per year! If too many illegal humans die in getting here, where am I going to get my Social Security checks in my old age?!??!

          See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..es/499604/

          1. 1. Great. More Libertarians for the Welfare State
            2. This only counts illegal aliens using a fake or stolen SSN. Working off the books isn’t covered.
            3. By his own statistics the author says illegals are a net loser for only $12 billion,
            4. The author neglects the fact that the EITC is refundable and is payable to taxpayers using TINs, which amounts to a little over 2 billion a year. So now illegals are a net losers of less than $10 billion.
            5. In my school district per capita spending is $12,000, not including capital construction, debt service and pension contributions. There is no way illegals are paying their weight for this.
            6. You don’t “break even” on taxes until you reach about the 70th percentile in income. Almost no illegals are earning that much.
            7. You need to add in all the costs from EMTLA, states that have expanded MediCaid to some procedures for illegals. Plus Food Stamps, WIC and School Lunches for the legal kids (who would have been born elsewhere) of illegals.
            8. You whole argument presupposes that some future Congress won’t retroactively grant credit to amnestied illegals under the rubric of “fairness.”

          2. But more specifically, there is a reason I chose to mention the post 1965 welfare state.

            Which you either missed or (maybe, just maybe) chose to ignore when offering your Social Security ‘argument.’

          3. [Undocumented immigrants] are contributing billions of dollars a year to Social Security, but may never reap any retirement benefits from it.

            I may never reap any retirement benefits from Social Security either because it’s a generational transfer scheme, not an investment. That is, nobody’s contributions guarantee them benefits down the road.

            And social security is certainly not going to work any better in the long term by granting benefits to millions of low skill, low income migrants.

            See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one

            The truth is that government spends an average $25000 per capita per year on people in the US. If you don’t pay at least that much in taxes, you are a fiscal liability. Addressing that issue for citizens is difficult, but we can at least avoid adding to the problem by letting in low income migrants.

            1. “If you don’t pay at least that much in taxes, you are a fiscal liability.”

              To be fair, that sentence should say, “If you don’t pay at least that much in taxes, or generate enough income for someone else to pay that much in taxes on the fruits of your labor, you are a fiscal liability.”

          4. The amount contributed to our taxes, by illegals, ratchets up on a regular basis.
            Pretty soon, we will be told that illegal aliens provide the entire GDP.

        2. OK – instead of spending all this effort building a wall, let’s spend it fighting welfare. Which is a threat to the US even if there are no illegals in the country at all.

      2. Times change. Travel becomes easier. A welfare state is created

        And even prior to 1920 this country took action to preserve itself. No doubt it is horrible racist to say but the gentlemen who passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, probably saved California (albeit temporarily). China could have exported 1% of its population in the 1890s and overwhelmed the entire West Coast.

        1. China could have exported 1% of its population in the 1890s and overwhelmed the entire West Coast.

          Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  4. The group’s members have also found water jugs dyed to look like antifreeze with Spanish language messages scrawled on the bottles, warning people not to drink them.

    Hmm. That’s a fair amount of effort, compared to, say, slashing them.

    1. Yeah, it sounds more like mean gurl horror than actual truth.

    2. Yeah. That’s weird. Maybe it’s for the border patrol with a flare for arts and crafts.

      1. Or maybe law enforcement careers are attractive to people who are willing to go to great lengths to be a dick.

        1. Or maybe it’s bullshit.

      2. Never mind that ethylene glycol (the dangerous stuff) is not found in antifreeze anymore – having been replaced with propylene glycol, which is profoundly less toxic.

        It’s not merely bullshit. It’s ignorant bullshit.

        1. That is incorrect. A quick search shows Ethylene glycol at my local autozone.

          1. Didn’t know that – apparently it’s specific for AL radiators.

            1. Well, I knew that you were touching on something I had heard, that being, it was in the process of being phased out, but one of my shops still uses it for…something occasionally so I knew it was still around.

        2. Never mind that ethylene glycol (the dangerous stuff) is not found in antifreeze anymore – having been replaced with propylene glycol, which is profoundly less toxic.

          It’s not merely bullshit. It’s ignorant bullshit.

          I don’t believe the switch from ethylene to propylene to be correct (mandated or economically feasible, so maybe some expensive ‘enviro-safe’ options exist) but only a retard who didn’t know how to change his car tire, if left dying of thirst in the desert, would be seriously challenged by such a dilemma. Ethylene glycol is sweet to the taste and, to a degree, its toxic effects can be countered with ethanol. In any event, intentional poisoning doesn’t generally lead to instantaneous death (just inebriation) and acidosis combined with encephalopathy doesn’t set in for the next 1-3 days (by which time the desert would’ve presumably killed you anyway).

          It sounds somewhere between made up and half-assed tomfoolery. Personally, I can’t imagine border agents carrying around dye for such a hair-brained scheme and would actually suspect the containers to be filled with other yellow or convenient colored liquids.

          1. Wow, you used real science in your discussion. While helping a friend with a various cooling system leaks, we got a little woozy off of the fumes from the antifreeze evaporating on the exhaust manifold. The bleed bolt in this Honda was right above it, which is annoying for a few reasons, but at least it had a bleed bolt.

            Googled it and found out about the biochem of ethylene gylcol intake. Drank beer to celebrate my burned knuckles and now-working heat.

            Just an OT ‘attaboy for an unusual display of factual, if somewhat OT, information.

            1. Wow, you used real science in your discussion.

              If you say so.

              Even more ridiculous than the notion of border agents dyeing and marking water bottles in earnest to deter immigrants is the notion of half-dead migrants shuffling by thinking, “Another pallet of opened, hand-labeled anti-freeze? Fucking gringos why can’t you dump some water for a change!”

              Both of which are slightly less ridiculous than the libertarians saying “We are morally obligated to save *those* Mexicans. Not just from themselves but from those evil CBP people.” like the rest of America isn’t going to long con them out of existence.

              1. I could see it being an involved prank just from sheer boredom. I suspect that the job has a lot of boring downtime in harsh conditions.

                Either way it’s not a particularly egregious affront. A simple sniff can determine if it’s antifreeze, and it’s really a pretty obscure thing. Some small percentage of the 10% of sabotaged aid stations have been vandalized with food coloring and sharpie. Really? Let’s put that in perspective.

                Deaths have almost halved in 12 years. We’re definitely getting somewhere. Stop griping about “those evil CBP people” and go replace the water jugs if that’s what you want to do.

  5. The best and the brightest will figure out how to survive the trek.

    1. So slashing the jugs is just helping Darwin along?

  6. Sigh. Without wading into yet another immigration bitch-fest, I can at least ask how is this not just sadistic cruelty?

    1. I think the argument can at least be made that it is lie removing plants from your yard that attract deer.

      But, let’s be honest, it almost certainly is cruelty.

      1. Or feeding homeless in the park – which was featured the other day as an outrage! that I really can’t worked up about myself.

        This is on a whole other level.

        1. Meant to say the banning of feeding the homeless was the outrage! I couldn’t get worked up about.

          1. I don’t know. If a wall won’t do, there has to be a way to discourage crossing, change the calculus. Seems odd that it’s universally acknowledged that a country’s agents have the right to shoot people who try to force their way past border control into their territory, but not remove aid to help them cross illegally–that is “cruel.”

            1. Yeah, it’s true that violating any law carries a potential punishment of death, so why is this any worse? Well it strikes me as particularly sadistic, that’s all.

              1. There’s a distinction here that should be made. We say violating any law carries the potential punishment of death, but we really mean “if it comes to that.” If a law is to be enforced, we have to recognize that enforcement is ultimately backed up by that ultimate threat. But that doesn’t mean that an agent has blanket permission to turn enforcement into a death penalty under any circumstance, that he has carte blanche to escalate it to that. There are procedures, permissible and impermissible ways to enforce the law under a given circumstance. And what I’m saying is that it is permissible procedure to defend a border in this manner under those circumstances–not just the trivial fact that it’s a law and therefore enforcing it could come down to deadly force if necessary. You can also get shot for getting too close to Area 51–but not, for example, for sneaking a flask onto the National Mall.

                I agree with you though, it is cruel if it really does have no deterrence effect.

    2. Yes, it can be cruel to assist in illegal acts.

      Preventing cruelty can also be cruel.

  7. How many of these cached are on private property and the ownrr msy not be appreciative of these griups encouraging to aliens to cross their land?

    1. The question here is whether BP is destroying these things on PP. The report seems to suggest its all public lands. The latter is a massive dick move but I can’t see how it would actually be illegal.

      The former would likely be very illegal.

      1. The point is, that a lot people don’t like what these groups are doing and are destroying the caches. It not clear this is primarily spmeyhing being done by the birder patrol.

  8. I think to some extent the open borders crowd is seeing the worm turn, and they are reacting poorly.

    1. I’m not nearly as forgiving as open border folks, but I am for streamlined, functional legal immigration, and the heated debate on this site is forcing me to consider the practical aspects of this growing problem. I think the welfare state is the real killer, and it allows our worst and laziest to live a decent life without a day of work; most of the ones I’ve seen abusing it have been abusing it for 3 generations. I don’t want people starving in the street, but hunger is a powerful motivator. I’m also not as angry as folks who have to deal with illegal immigrants regularly. There are probably millions in my state, but they tend to aggregate in communities and keep to themselves. My area has a much more violent subset of poor welfare recipients who exist entirely on my tax money and then also literally mug me at gunpoint. I’m certain that this occurs with Hispanics (and all ethnicities) in some areas, and it’s a major factor in our nation’s widening racial schisms.

      That the illegals congregate in small communities is another issue. It’s a visible failure to assimilate. I want folks to come to America bringing aspects of their culture, but I want them to be accepting of ours, too. We are a melting pot, not a chunks-of-still-cold-cheese pot.

  9. What if Border Patrol was going after supplies coyotes were caching along their intended route?

    Would this article even be written? Would it display the same moralistic high dudgeon?

    I think not.

    But what makes coyotes so different from ‘humanitarians?’

    (And for the sake of this argument let’s avoid the red herrings and stipulate that the term ‘coyote’ refers to people who actually do make a reasonable effort to deliver the services they have been paid to deliver and DOES NOT refer to the assorted rapist, bandits, and con-artists who do not live up to their contract, and/or purposefully inflict other harms opon their ‘clients’.)

    If your answer has anything to do with a difference between profit motive and any other moral act then my reply to you is: Fuck off slaver. Actions matter, intentions are not within your purview.

    So, at that point does it even matter who is caching the supplies?

    No, it really doesn’t.

    I wouldn’t expect Border Patrol (or any other agency sworn to enforce a given law) to refrain from interfering with the actions of coyotes (or other criminals), any more than they should refrain from similar actions against so called ‘humanitarians.’

    1. Should read ‘any more than they should refrain from like actions against so called ‘humanitarians.’

    2. “… against so called ‘humanitarians.’

      Why the so-called, and apparently sneering quotes? You think it isn’t really humane to provide water for people who will otherwise thirst to death? This is actually inhumane to do this? Oh, yes, I know… The water caches encourage them to do what you think they shouldn’t do… Well, I don’t think speeding in your car should be encouraged either. So then, by this logic, speeders who have accidents? My taxes shouldn’t go to EM tech and emergency rooms, for sure, to help these stupid speeders… But above and beyond that, my taxpayer dollars should go to actively interfere with the works of voluntary charitable people who want to help these “victims of themselves” who got into speeding accidents!

      Yes, this is a good analogy… It is also against the law to go speeding… Punish, punish, punish all day long, and to hell with those who interfere with my urge to punish!

      “Beware of the man with a strong urge to punish”, http://www.reddit.com/r/quotes…..punish_is/

      1. Why the so-called, and apparently sneering quotes? You think it isn’t really humane to provide water for people who will otherwise thirst to death?

        Because they aren’t objectively providing water to anyone and are rather openly admitting it. By your metric(s or lack thereof), the lottery has provided loads and loads of cash to poor people.

        At the very least, setting goods on public or third party property for free under the assumption of delivery to parties unnamed and unknown is hardly any sort of contract normal libertarians would recognize. NMD might have a better case if they (owned the land or…) said they were making water sacrifices to shai hulud. Even then, there’s no guaranteed right to any sort of permanence to religious sacrifices made on public property.

        1. I’d like to argue, too, that the article mentioned that 10% of the caches are destroyed. I’ve heard some pretty damning things about Border Patrol, and I’m not so happy that I’m paying 16,000 of them, but there are 1.9million other feds that I would like to reexamine, too. 10% is not a lot. Yes, one extra death is too many, but we’ve got to draw an arbitrary line somewhere; just like with the border. I think the beacons are a nice stop-gap solution, although I’ve heard that the detainment camps are awfully overcrowded. Still better than dying, and they get the choice about whether to live or die trying. That’s pretty gnarly (and libertarian) solution. If they offered me anything close to that level of freedom from undeserved hassle as a citizen, I’d be delighted.

          I’m glad the deaths have tumbled from 500 to ~300. That’s great. Let’s take the 10% loss and just keep bringing that number down. The world ain’t fair, we all have to learn this at some point. The Americans in Cali could use some water, too, I think.

      2. “Why the so-called, and apparently sneering quotes? “

        They are ‘so called’ because

        A. that’s exactly what the author called them. Meanwhile

        B. They are functionally equivalent to coyotes. Has anyone credibly asserted that coyotes are ‘humanitarians?’

        Feel free to do so.

    3. What the coyotes are doing is actively breaking the law.

      What the so- called humanitarians are doing is abetting breaking the law. At best, what they are doing is in a gray area.

      1. They are assisting those who have broken the law (including not just coyotes but the illegal humans themselves), protecting them from the worst consequences of them having broken the law.

        If I volunteer to help speed-limit-violators recover from their accidents while speeding, or help drug addicts recover from their addictions, no one accuses me of operating in a “gray area”. And for sure, taxpayer money doesn’t usually get used to get law enforcement people to stand in my way.

        1. A person providing medical treatment to a speeder is usually not coincidentally helping them avoid the legal consequences of their speeding. It is not really an apt analogy.

          1. Well, how about a druggie who continues to do drugs, while I try and (voluntarily, charity-wise) assist him or her, while he or she continues to violate those Holy Sacred Laws? Am I now a horrible aider and abbettor of criminality? Should YOUR tax dollars be spent to help the cops get in my way, as I try to (humanely) look out for the interests of law-violating drug addict?

            1. Operative word being “continues”.
              The “druggie” you refer to, began their illegal efforts absent your interference.
              If you provided the drugs to the person, who goes on to become a “druggie”; that would be more analogous – similarly assisting the post-speeding injured person – to providing, in advance, assistance to encourage law-breaking illegal aliens.
              Maybe these “humanitarians” should just be honest: they are doing what they are doing to encourage people to break our laws, ones they disagree with, but are unable, through legal means, to change. Their efforts are more against our laws, than to “aid” the illegal border-crossers.

      2. They are both actively assisting people who wish to illegally enter the US.

        There is nothing gray about that.

        One group does it for money, the other ostensibly does it for other reasons.

        But the why does not change the what.

  10. destroying the water and food left behind is the same idea as not feeding the bears. the more you do it the worse the situation becomes. not everything people do out of the kindness of their thoughts and hearts actually helps.

    1. I think the analogy is largely inapt. Bears are attracted to the food itself. So if there is no food, the bears won’t come. Illegal immigrants want to go to the country and don’t go into the desert looking for food. So even if the food is not there, they will go in order to get to the country. The food and water help those who have become lost or abandoned by the coyote.

      To your point, there is the factor of how easy or difficult the journey is. However, I don’t think the humanitarian aid makes the journey easy by any stretch of the imagination. So people who don’t want to go on the hazardous journey anyway aren’t going to be enticed into going by the unreliable possibility of humanitarian aid.

      1. Agreed…

        Also, the bears do not wipe my ass or my baby’s ass, or take care of my yard, or pick fruits and veggies, all for affordable prices…

        1. You just want your own cheap peasant, then?

        2. My sister would like to find a cheap Mexican or Central American nanny, but she can’t. She would like to be working full time as a physical therapist, but instead she’s doing the menial work of wiping a baby’s ass and vacuuming carpet.

          1. My sister would like to find a cheap Mexican or Central American nanny, but she can’t.

            That’s pretty racist.

            I don’t know where your sister lives, but in my limited time surfing sittercity and similar sites, there are plenty of nannies of a whole plethora of ethnicities and nationalities available all over the country. Even if we stick to just cheap Mexican or C. Am., assuming her idea of cheap isn’t somehow distorted from market realities, I question her abilities as a PT if she’s simply ‘unable to find a Mexican’. Hardly a burden the rest of us should suffer just so she can get a discount on childcare, especially when plenty of other less racist individuals find it relatively easily.

            1. How cute.

          2. She could have chosen not to have any kids, too. That’s a lot simpler, and leaves you money to do fun things while not worrying about other kid-centric problems. Ever.

          3. She shouldn’t have had a kid, if she wasn’t ready to raise it, herself.
            Raising children is a full-time job, not something you shunt off to someone else.
            If government hadn’t increased the amount of “services” it provides, we would still be in the realm of a single bread-winner being able to support a family.
            I thought Libertarians were all for less government.
            Having someone at home, raising children, would be one of the greatest benefits to society, such a situation would engender.

  11. The law is the law, and anyone who breaks the law should be punished, and anyone who helps a lawbreaker break the law should also be punished.

    Don’t Libertarians believe in the Rule of Law?

    1. Sarcasm maybe?

      If not, please beware that it is a crime to blow on a cheap plastic flute w/o a prescription!

      Especially those who blow on a cheap plastic flute without authorization by a licensed physician!!! Or ditto for those who would use a little electro-mechanical assistance when basically pinching their noses and blowing on it.
      If’n ye donna believe me about gittin’ prescriptions for “coughing” or “nose-blowing” then please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com ? And search for “lung flute” and “ear popper”.
      “Three felonies a day” is a “thing”… Google it…

      1. Yes, we believe in rule of law, but I wonder if the folks who capitalize it incorrectly are placing too much emphasis on the authoritarian aspects of it. I know that sounds condescending, but our lawbooks are an absolute nightmare. Nobody knows all these laws – not the citizens, goons at the Capitol, cops, prosecutors, judges, or lawyers. We are at a point where if a cop is itching to pull you, he will be able to find a (legitimate) reason to pull you in a few minutes of following. My mother got pulled once for touching the yellow line on a two-lane road because the guardrail was missing and there was a 10ft grade below. Driving a mammoth 70s Plymouth. The young cop was real gung-ho about this obvious DUI, but his seasoned partner had his palm to his face.

        1. Maybe so, but I’ll wager that every one of these illegal aliens knows they are breaking our laws, when they come across the border at other-than official crossing-points.
          The number, who, while just wandering through the desert, happen to cross the border, and then decide to stay, unawares that what they are doing is against our laws, is minuscule.

      2. No, it’s only a crime to sell it intended as a medical device. It’s not illegal to sell it as a flute, it’s not illegal for someone to use it as a medical device.

  12. I would think the Border Patrol would be better off patrolling the water jugs via drones or similar, and rounding up the well-hydrated migrants. That seems like it would be an effective and humane deterrent.

  13. Maybe Border Patrol just picking up litter they found out in the desert?

    If you put something out in the desert and just leave it there, be it water jugs, tents, or 4-wheel drive jeeps with keys in them and then you just walk away…don’t get too mad about WHATEVER happens to it. You left it there unattended.

  14. If the risk of failure in an illegal crossing is sufficiently high, perhaps some will reconsider. Much like the Cubans risking everything on the water crossing, knowing they might not make it, it is their decision. On what basis they can expect someone else to step in and protect them as they wilfully break our laws, I do not know.

    Perhaps the No More Deaths folks would better deploy their resources by mobilising on the south side of the boundary and discourage people from making the attempt in the first place. It could even be considered that they, by enabling illegal border crossers by lessening their risk, they are committing a federal crime. A point worthy of consideration. I know if I were to try and sneak into Switzerland and disappear into the cantons and try and remain against their laws, if caught or otherwise foiiled I’d have no cause to put the blame anywhere but my own silly head. WHY do these people refuse to consider the wilfully assumed plight of the deseert invaders as anytjing less than what it is?

    1. You wouldn’t have to go as far as Switzerland, to discover what fate would befall you.
      Try going into Mexico, contrary to their immigration laws, and see what happens.
      Hint: they aren’t as nice as our border patrol.

  15. People who destroy water jugs laying around in the desert have the same right to do that as people littering the desert with water jugs. But, since there are vastly too many humans to suit me, I also dont care how many die in the desert. I know it wont be me because I never go there.

    1. Congratulations, you get to be today’s poster child for everything that’s wrong with America.

  16. These hydration extremists have created an “attractive nuisance”, and are therefore legally culpable in the deaths by desiccation of these poor undocumented desert hikers.

    google it.

  17. Soooo, by this reasoning I should be able to hand out guns and keys to getaway cars in front of a bank? Or maybe cut the fences around a ranch so people can grab a few beef cattle, I mean their hungry, who’s to keep them from eating a couple steers? Let’s rip down the fences around an orchard and just let anyone that wants to pick fruit off the trees right??

    We should ban locks on the doors to people’s houses because someone outside might be cold or hungry or just f’ing lonely and want to come in right??

    1. No, by this reasoning you don’t get to leave another human being to die a cruel and horrible death in the desert when you have the means to prevent it. If you can’t understand the difference between border enforcement, paid for by taxpayers, that by design and in effect inflicts needless suffering and fences paid for by private property owners to protect their own property, ask a 12-year-old to explain it to you.

  18. They asked Moonbeam Brown for his advice, and were told:
    If you destroy it, they won’t come.

  19. This is not new. And, shame to America, neither is such casual cruelty an aberration.

  20. Don’t the water drops make the Border Patrol’s job easier, by providing convenient places to stake out? You’d think the Border Patrol & the humanitarian aid organiz’n would be working in tandem, coordinating their efforts.

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