Immigration

A Texas City Attorney Was Arrested and Detained for Helping Three Young Migrants on the Side of the Road

One of the migrants was gravely ill.

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On the night of February 27, Teresa Todd listened as a Border Patrol agent read off her Miranda rights, something intimately familiar to her as the city attorney for Marfa, Texas, as well as the county attorney for Jeff Davis County. Except this time, she was the accused, and she wasn't sure what she had done.

Earlier that evening, a trio of young Central American migrants waved her down while she was driving on a West Texas interstate. All three—Carlos, Francisco, and Esmeralda—were limping, she says, suffering from exhaustion and dehydration after making the hazardous trek across the southern border. But one looked gravely ill.

Esmeralda "could barely stand," Todd tells Reason. "The color of her skin, the way she looked, the way her eyes were glossed over, I literally thought she was going to pass out at any minute. It was very clear she needed immediate medical attention."

She invited the three to warm up in her car while she phoned for help, calling, among others, a Border Patrol lawyer. A sheriff's deputy soon pulled up behind her. Agents from Border Patrol followed, who then Mirandized her, put her in the back of their vehicle, and told her she could be charged "with transporting or harboring illegal aliens," according to Todd.

Baffled, she maintains that she was "just trying to help," particularly as Esmeralda appeared decreasingly lucid.

Upon arriving at the Border Patrol station, Todd was ordered to remove her jewelry and surrender her purse. She was then locked in a holding cell for 45 minutes and eventually driven back to her car late that night. About a week later, a federal agent showed up to her office and confiscated her phone; it was not returned to her for 53 days. She remains the subject of an active federal investigation.

"I lost 10 pounds the first week from the stress," Todd says.

This small saga is one of many to spring from the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration, which has seen the government treat good Samaritans like criminals. Four women were sentenced last month on misdemeanor charges after leaving jugs of water and cans of beans for migrants in Arizona's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Another good Samaritan, Scott Warren, goes on trial later this month, accused of giving two undocumented immigrants food and water as well as letting them stay with him for two nights. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Todd's case is ongoing, and she doesn't know when—or if—she'll see a suitable resolution, as Border Patrol "has not been forthcoming with any information." So she's tackling the root of the issue, which she sees as the federal government's encroachment on Texas state law.

"The Texas Penal Code provides defenses to prosecution for Necessity, Defense of Third Person(s), and Protection of Life or Health," according to Todd, meaning that the accused could viably defend themselves against similar charges by proving that they were helping someone in need. "In this and in other ways, I think that Texas state law is more fair and forward-looking." She has already reached out to her district's congressman, Rep. Will Hurd (R–Texas), to collaborate on a way forward.

"The longer I live in Jeff Davis County, the more libertarian I get," says Todd, who is an elected official.

The three migrants remain in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody "pending disposition of their immigration cases," according to a statement from the agency. Originally from El Salvador, court documents say the siblings fled an aunt's house in Guatemala after a gang leader expressed that he wanted to be in a relationship with Esmeralda and two of Carlos's friends were murdered by gang members, according to The New York Times.

Esmeralda was eventually treated for starvation, dehydration, infected wounds inflicted by cactus spines, as well as rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition that can lead to kidney failure, The New York Times reports. After arriving at the Border Patrol station on February 27, Todd says she pleaded with officials to take Esmeralda to a hospital, as "she was not doing well at all." They finally conceded.

Looking back on that night, Todd notes that her next call would have been to the Jeff Davis County Sheriff to request emergency medical assistance. "Then Border Patrol came, and I couldn't use my phone anymore," she says. "So I didn't get to make that call."

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106 responses to “A Texas City Attorney Was Arrested and Detained for Helping Three Young Migrants on the Side of the Road

  1. Border patrol agents might be worse than drug warriors. All of them should (and someday will) be compelled to try to find decent livelihoods.

    1. Well said.

      I predict the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee will campaign and win on an open borders platform. Therefore by 2021 the inherently racist policy of “border enforcement” will be a thing of the past, and the bigots who work for ICE and related agencies will no longer be terrorizing black and brown bodies.

      1. I predict the next president will return to America’s traditional handling of border issues, largely because that person will not be a bigot, will not appease bigots, and will not seek political gain by lathering bigots.

        Can anyone point to a circumstance, in the context of successive waves of intolerance and ignorance with respect to immigration, in which the bigots won over the longer term in America? Can anyone identify a reason they believe this latest batch of bigots is anything special?

        1. Well, that’s like just your opinion man.

          Join the crowd of crystal ball gazers, do gooders, and socialist nut jobs.

          1. It is an opinion congruent with more than a half-century of recent American experience.

            The race does not always go to the swiftest, nor the contest to the strongest, nor the debate to the better argument. But that is how smart money bets.

        2. ENFORCING CURRENT FEDERAL LAWS, LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS AND SIGNED INTO LAW PRESIDENT’S FROM BOTH PARTIES is being BIGOTED?

          Sorry, Rev, the only bigot in your immediate circle is the one who looks back at you from the mirror.

        3. Your tears of rage and frustration when Trump wins again in 2020 will be exquisite.

          #Winning

        4. I predict someone will beat you to death with a hammer, hopefully sooner than later.

      2. “Inherently racist”? Are you out of your mind? Allowing illegals to cross the border unchecked is not only a logistical nightmare it is a direct threat to our country’s safety and security. How is it that you are incapable of seeing that? Do you enjoy seeing your fellow CITIZENS, ravished or killed by illicit drug use? Do you enjoy the death toll that come with getting those drugs from Central America to the US? Does any of that bother you or are you so closed minded and brainwashed that all you can see is your hatred for all things Trump?

        You need serious professional help.

        1. Allowing illegals to cross the border unchecked is not only a logistical nightmare it is a direct threat to our country’s safety and security.

          [citation needed]

          As always, the “threat” is way over exaggerated.

          Because also, no one is saying “unchecked”, just that they be treated humanely. And that we not waste building a stupid wall when there are smarter cheaper ways of dealing with this barely-a-problem.

          1. Go look at federal prison populations.

          2. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was conversing with an intellectually challenged individual. Citations? Why don’t you try reading some of the NYT’s recent articles indicating that thousands of illegals are being released into our communities DAILY because their is no more room to house them? Or, you could read the NYT’s articles about the crisis at our southern border as caravan after caravan shows up there. Perhaps you could peruse any of the myriad articles describing the massive amounts of illegal drugs flooding over our southern border unchecked, drugs that end up in communities around the country, leading to misery, crime and death, ESPECIALLY with influx of fentanyl arriving in the country and killing junkies coast to coast.

            Those are just a few paths for you to learn the truth but I seriously doubt that you are capable or willing to input the simple search phrases to get the information. Or if you do, you would simply refuse to believe the words in front of your face because they contradict the nonsense coming into your ears. One way or the other, I seriously doubt that you will learn anything, but I had to try.

          3. The threat is in no way exaggerated.

    2. Still, you have to admit, that’s a seriously nice comb over in the picture.

      1. Yep. I noticed that also.

  2. she tells Reason that she was “just trying to help,”

    Hopefully she learned her lesson.

    1. Yes, you’re not supposed to help “invaders”.

      (Of course, those who regard anyone with excess melanin on their skin as objectionable or sub-human will regard people just trying to have a better life as ‘invaders’. I’ve read their comments, it’s not an exaggeration.)

      1. Yes, you’re not supposed to help invaders.

        It’s in fact illegal by specific statue in multiple ways:

        8 U.S. Code § 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
        http://bit.ly/2ErBBNQ

  3. Esmeralda “could barely stand,” Todd tells Reason. “The color of her skin, the way she looked, the way her eyes were glossed over, I literally thought she was going to pass out at any minute. It was very clear she needed immediate medical attention.”

    She invited the three to warm up in her car while she phoned for help, calling, among others, a Border Patrol lawyer.

    I call BULLSHIT!

    If this person was “gravely ill” why is the first call you make not to get an ambulance?

    When I help people in need of immediate medical attention, I dont call fucking lawyers FIRST.

    1. If people had any lingering doubt that Trumpistas are idiots, in comes loveconst…bullshit peddler to rescue the day.

      1. ^ poor OM.

        He is a bullshit artist and does not even know it.

        1. The projection is strong with this one Trumpista.

          1. The Bot script is fast with this one.

            1. Dude, your bot script is immediate third person voice beginning with “Poor so-and-so, he [ad-hominem]”. The Reverend’s pattern is some comma-separated list of adjectives, yours is this weird third-person thing. It’s straight out of a sixth grader’s playground rhetoric. If you’re too willfully dense to realize that “among others” includes “others” I’m not sure you’re in a position to call anyone else out.

              1. The bot script comes back with its SOCKS on.

              2. No, he’s in a position to call all kinds of people out. As are many of us.

      2. Why? He’s right.
        A lawyer who’s previously boasted of rescuing illegals, all of a sudden is making medical diagnosis’s after her arrest is pretty suspicious. Also, Binion is being pretty selective about which facts to mention here.
        Particularly that the rhabdomyolysis was a very mild case and the cactus splinters were a bigger problem for potential infection.

        “Looking back on that night, Todd says her next call would have been to the Jeff Davis County Sheriff to request emergency medical assistance.”
        Riiiiight…

        1. The propagandists needs this Narrative to pan out.

          In a week, we will find out the “illegals” were Americans and this was a setup to show how corrupt enforcing our immigration policy is.

          The only Narrative that the open border people have not fully been ignored on yet: USA Denies Medical Attention to Humans: End Border Enforcement

      3. So, why DID she call an attorney before (NOT) calling for an ambulance if the woman was in such bad shape? HMMMMM?

    2. How do you know she called the lawyer first?

      1. If their condition was that grave, why did she call an attorney at all?

        1. Hello, Frank White,
          —“If their condition was that grave, why did she call an attorney at all?”—

          Why does it matter? No, better question: Why does it matter to YOU? is the fact that *she* (not them) called an attorney make their condition less urgent? They were there with no papers, and she’s a lawyer herself.

          Did you care to read this part of the article: “Another good Samaritan, Scott Warren, goes on trial later this month, accused of giving two undocumented immigrants food and water as well as letting them stay with him for two nights. He faces up to 20 years in prison.”

          I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you? Why not call a attorney when facing such authoritarianism. Next thing you know, people of good faith and courage will have to resort to hiding immigrants on lofts and attics and perhaps recount their experiences in diaries which will then be turned into countless movies and miniseries. Perhaps that’s what you want – I don’t know.

          1. Enforcing current sensible immigration rules against scofflaws isn’t authoritarian, you dishonest git.
            I hope if someone ever B & E’s your house and starts squatting in your living room, the cops call you an authoritarian and tell you to fuck off when you complain.

            1. If you read carefully, examples like the above, we are now soooo much of a “papers please” society, that I as a private citizen must say “papers please” to the starving or otherwise dying person, before I help them… They’d better prove to me that they aren’t illegal sub-humans before I help them! Else I could be tagged as a criminal! If I find an abandoned, bleeding baby, and I rush him or her to the hospital… If the abandoned baby turns out to be an illegal sub-human, I am now BUSTED!

              And authoritarian assholes like you APPROVE of this? WHERE is your human decency?

          2. Your right OM. If i were going to help any sort of fugitive, I would probably call a lawyer so as to get my bullshit story straight later too. Or maybe not breaking the law would be better. But you’re an enemy of my country so your sole interest is in subverting our constitutional republic.

            So when the cops end up shooting someone dead in the future, it will be a good thing if you’re of them. One less subversive trying to destroy America.

        2. Reread the column. She called a Border Patrol lawyer. That was the reason they sent agents out. This woman did exactly what a person should do. She helped at the scene and alerted authorities. If I were her I call up CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX and invite them to go with her to her hearing. It would make great film for the 6 pm news.

          1. Why are you are attempting to reason with lathered-up bigots?

            1. Why are you trying to dissuade people from attempting to reason?

            2. If you ever attempted to reason, shithead, it would be a first.

        3. why did she call an attorney at all?

          Because she is one and so is aware of the upcoming shit show?

          1. Shit show …Of her own making.

            Call an ambulance first next time.

            Its what us average Americans would do to…you know…help a person who needs medical help.

            1. Hey, Trumpista (*)
              —” Call an ambulance first next time. “—

              How do you know she didn’t?

              (*) Term of derision.

              1. Trumpista (*) (*) Term of derision.
                Lol, is this another fucking Hihn sock? He’s cheesy enough to be.

                “How do you know she didn’t?”
                Because she said she didn’t. There’s more than one article on this out there.

                1. Old Mexican is in competition for dumbest fucking analysis based solely on headline reading. He didnt even read this article. He just knows his gut is right.

            2. 911 is the correct answer.

            3. Yeah, I know. She really should have just run them down or pulled over and shot them like any reasonable person would do to foreign invaders. It’s funny how you don’t even consider the fact that she just wanted to help them get better so they could be returned home alive.

              1. Check out SparkY with the new handle.

                Same old nonsensical extremes…new handle.

                1. Yep, he’s still a gigantic dumbfucking piece of shit.

      2. Did you READ the article? Try doing so and I will accept your apology.

    3. “Esmeralda was eventually treated for starvation, dehydration, infected wounds inflicted by cactus spines, as well as rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition that can lead to kidney failure”

      I guess the hospital was in on this conspiracy theory too?

      1. And the many thousands of dollars the taxpayers will suck up to treat these interlopers.

    4. Well that settles it. If this person wasn’t about to die then we should lock up the good Samaritan who helped!

      Lock her up!

    5. Do you need help understanding the phrase “among others”?

      1. Poor new troll.

        Among others means nothing without telling us who else the person called.

        Evidently an ambulance was NOT a priority.

        Do YOU need help understanding the phrase “call and ambulance”?

    6. Your just a fucking collectivist racist, LC.

      I’ve yet to figure out why a progressive Republican as yourself wants to roll a libertarian website.

      Your late for your American Nazi Party meeting, LC.

      1. More new sock accounts. Media matters upped their pay!

      2. Oh no! He called LC a racist! Whatever shall we do!

  4. —” So she’s trying to tackling the root of the issue, which she sees as the federal government’s encroachment on Texas state law.”—

    Or the lack of empathy towards other human beings which is the staple of any administration, not just the White Supremacist in charge.

  5. Esmeralda “could barely stand,” Todd tells Reason. “The color of her skin, the way she looked, the way her eyes were glossed over, I literally thought she was going to pass out at any minute. It was very clear she needed immediate medical attention.”

    Classic signs of dehydration.

    1. Good thing she called an attorney the specializes in illegal immigration.

      1. she phoned for help, calling, among others, a Border Patrol lawyer.

        Are you really that stupid?

        1. You’re asking a Trumpista if he’s *that* stupid. The question has been answered, Logan Five.

          1. +1 Obscure SF reference

        2. You seem stupid enough to think that proves something.

      2. Haha. Yup.

        These propagandists think that they are really fooling anyone.

        Most of the times that I have called 911 for an ambulance, no cop ever shows up.

        Give the location, an emergency need for an ambulance, and hang up.

  6. A sheriff’s deputy soon pulled up behind her. Agents from Border Patrol followed, who then Mirandized her, put her in the back of their vehicle, and told her she could be charged “with transporting or harboring illegal aliens,” according to Todd.

    This is a laugh and would never hold up in court. Who checks the immigration status of everyone who rides in their car?

    1. I think the fact that she called an attorney on behalf of these people was an indication she might have know their status.

      1. Look, you can be critical of illegal immigrants coming over the border, but this arrest will never hold up, and there’s everything morally correct in what she did. She didn’t stuff them in the trunk and drive them to a safe house.

        1. Hello, Paul!
          —” She didn’t stuff them in the trunk and drive them to a safe house.”—

          And even that is not morally reprehensible, yet what do you or I hear from the nativists and bigots on Fox News and other venues? That these are not people to be helped but to be left to die in the desert or shot on sight, like someone said during a Trump rally with much celebration from the president.

          1. Call 911 for a WAMBULANCE!

            Whaaaaaaaaa…

            1. LC. Would you go away please?

              1. Poor troll Eric.

                Bouncing between troll socks.

                Go away Eric the Troll. Be Gone!

              2. Eric, you and your groggy friends are the ones who need to leave. No one wants you around. LC is always welcome though.

  7. The lesson here is if you want to help, pick them up and keep moving….

    1. Call an ambulance like normal Americans would.

      1. “She phoned for help, calling, among others, a Border Patrol lawyer, Medical help was called. Your problem is that she called a lawyer in addition to an ambulance. For that you think she should go to jail? What kind of a bot are you?

        1. Poor troll.

  8. The longer I live in Jeff Davis County, the more libertarian I get

    What the hell did you expect, living in a county called Jeff Davis? Sheesh.

  9. Next time:
    NEVER CALL THE COPS. They’re not there to help.

    1. Next time:
      NEVER CALL A LAWYER. They’re not there to help.

      Call an ambulance for medical care.

      1. Call LoveCon first, like all teenagers he knows everything.

        1. hey zero, you’re the king of ignorance. Now fuck off.

  10. Good. Every prosecutor should get the whole book thrown at them until there’s nothing left of them.

  11. the siblings fled an aunt’s house in Guatemala after a gang leader expressed that he wanted to be in a relationship with Esmeralda

    Get in line behind the poor would-be asylees who’ve been subjected to wolf-whistles, cat-calls, and unwanted requests to “smile”.

  12. “the siblings fled an aunt’s house in Guatemala”

    Consults map… Yup, Guatemala doesn’t border on the US. What were they doing at the US border?

    1. See? Bigots! This country’s full of bigots. It’s a wonder and a privilege these poor lost souls would even deign to drop in our gross, racist, hateful country and you have the audacity to question their motives.

  13. I’m just trying to figure out why Marfa (pop. 1772) has a City Attorney.

    1. Because all the cool towns have one?

  14. I watched a Texas lawyer get sentenced to 4 years in the pen for having a sport bag full of plant leaves in the back of his car by the side of a similar road. I’d have less schadenfreude if I could imagine these mouthpieces voting Libertarian. Maybe the continuing education in prison will help…

  15. Could somebody please drive Lovescock1789 into the middle of the desert and leave him there to die.
    Reason comment threads are unbearable since he/she/it started dropping his Trumperific turds around here.
    Fucking Republican Trumpsuckers, you have your own illiterate websites full of conspiracy nuts and wackos who get their news from The Big Fat Idiot’s radio show. Fuck off back to the Federalist or Daily Stormer or Brietard or wherever, but fuck me stop wrecking Reason.
    Fucking Trumptards.

    1. Keep the river of Leftist tears flowing, loveconstitution1789!
      +1

      1. The more I counter these trolls and Lefty fucktards, the more they will keep doing what they are doing to push Americans away from Socialism.

        It works great. My few posts cause the Lefty brain defects to fully present themselves.

      2. I was bothered by the Trump-thumping until I had an actual conversation with LC. It really is about getting the Proggies to reveal themselves.

        The Mexican sounds reasonable until you piss him off, then the authoritarian oozes out just like all the others. They will never be satisfied. They long for immigration to give them the vote, environmentalism to give them control of the means of production, gun control to remove all resistance, and a race war to give them the hearts of the people. They preach peace and love, but they long for the Reign of Terror.

    2. NYP, another treasonous piece of shit……..

      This country will be better off when you and your fellow travelers are driven from our shores. though feel free to stick around if you favor being deposited in a landfill, face down, for your vile, seditious behavior.

  16. ‘ and told her she could be charged “with transporting or harboring illegal aliens,” ‘

    Transporting illegals aliens is a crime, as is harboring them. If Reason writers were journalists, they would let you know that in this article. But since they’re just propagandists for Open Borders Uber Alles, they refrained from putting that in the story because it didn’t fit The Narrative.

    Luckily, you have better journalists available in the Comments section.
    8 U.S. Code § 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
    (a)(1)(A)
    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;

    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

    http://bit.ly/2ErBBNQ

    1. So she (ii) did not transport them and (iii) by placing phone calls did not attempt to shield them from detection.

      If your “border security” depends on not helping three dying people not die you’re probably doing it wrong. Now personally, like the minimum wage, I think we don’t enough borders and border patrol. I’d love to see borders with checkpoints on every county line. I reckon that if people had to apply for visitation permits to each county they crossed we’d have a whole lot less crime, disease, smuggling, and drugs. But even I don’t think that helping a person who is dying after appearing to cross a county border will fix the problem of people moving freely.

  17. […] A Texas City Attorney Was Arrested and Detained for Helping Three Young Migrants on the Side of the … […]

  18. “”I lost 10 pounds the first week from the stress,” Todd says.”

    A lot of chicks would love to see those results.

  19. I wish they’d just start shooting the fuckers and mine the entire border.

  20. “This small saga is one of many to spring from the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, which has seen the government treat good Samaritans like criminals. Four women were sentenced last month on misdemeanor charges after leaving jugs of water and cans of beans for migrants in Arizona’s Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.”

    So you’re just going to repeat this refuted lie? Is Reason trying to reduce it’s credibility to that to the mainstream media?

    “Four women who left food and water for migrants in the Arizona desert have been sentenced and fined for entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit.”

    “In addition to entering without a permit, the women were also accused of abandoning personal property, according to a statement by the Department of Justice. Hoffman was also convicted of operating a motor vehicle in the refuge.”

    CNN: https://tinyurl.com/y46l3ta8

  21. She should have called the Co. Sheriff first, asking for medical assistance, and let them deal with the BP.

  22. […] become a crackdown on people offering humanitarian assistance. Most recently, a city attorney was arrested and detained for stopping on a West Texas highway to assist three young migrants, one of whom was gravely […]

  23. […] become a crackdown on people offering humanitarian assistance. Most recently, a city attorney was arrested and detained for stopping on a West Texas highway to assist three young migrants, one of whom was gravely […]

  24. […] become a crackdown on people offering humanitarian assistance. Most recently, a city attorney was arrested and detained for stopping on a West Texas highway to assist three young migrants, one of whom was gravely […]

  25. […] become a crackdown on people offering humanitarian assistance. Most recently, a city attorney was arrested and detained for stopping on a West Texas highway to assist three young migrants, one of whom was gravely […]

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