Your Land Is Their Land

February 11, 2009

Your Land Is Their Land

Illegal Immigration: Our southern border is so out of control you can now be sued by those illegally entering the country and trespassing on your property. Illegal aliens, it seems, have a right to interstate travel.

The trial of American citizen Roger Barnett began last week and is scheduled to run through Friday. The Douglas, Ariz., rancher, along with wife Barbara and brother, Donald, is fighting a federal lawsuit by 16 illegal aliens who claim he violated their rights, falsely imprisoned them and inflicted emotional distress by holding them at gunpoint until the authorities arrived.

On March 7, 2004, Barnett approached the illegal aliens on an all-terrain vehicle, pointed a gun at them, cursed them in English and broken Spanish, and ordered his dog to attack them. He is also said to have kicked a woman in the group, according to a release from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Barnett owns or leases 22,000 acres (35 square miles) along the border in southeastern Arizona. A retired Cochise County sheriff’s deputy and owner of a towing business, he acquired his ranch in the mid-1990s and has been fighting illegal aliens crossing it ever since.

It is square in the path of the illegal alien migration. They consider him a vigilante for trying to protect his property and have brought him to court many times for doing just that. In February 2008, the Arizona Court of Appeals refused to throw out a verdict and a $100,000 award from November 2006 for another family caught crossing his property.

In March 2008, the same judge, U.S. District Court Judge John Rolf, refused to toss this case out as well, saying that sufficient evidence of a conspiracy existed, that the actions of the three defendants were motivated by race and that the Barnetts had denied the illegal aliens’ right to interstate travel. We are not making this up.

Each illegal alien is suing for $1 million in actual damages and $1 million for punitive or exemplary damages. The lawsuit alleges that Barnett never told the illegals they were trespassing and failed to notify them that they were on private property.

The fact that they crossed the border illegally seems to be irrelevant. The suit stopped short of accusing the Barnetts of failure to set up a visitors center and offer coffee.

The American Southwest has staggered under the burden of illegal immigration that has been put on the health care and educational systems of these states, not to mention on taxpayers and law enforcement. Illegal aliens have ravaged the environment, leaving mountains of trash and spoiling wildlife habitats.

Barnett claims to have apprehended or turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol thousands of illegal aliens over the years, and considering the documented volume of traffic, it is hard to doubt him. Many of these apprehensions have occurred at gunpoint.

Violence has repeatedly spilled across our border with Mexico, endangering the lives and properties of U.S. citizens. Many have been kidnapped and held for ransom. Barnett’s fear for his family and their safety is not unfounded.

As Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a Senate hearing before the Democrats took control, “Illegal immigration threatens our communities and our national security.” So much so that the governors of New Mexico and Arizona, Bill Richardson and Janet Napolitano, who replaced Chertoff at DHS, at one point declared border emergencies.

We still have a border emergency. As Mexico nears collapse as a nation state, it becomes imperative that we control our southern border and protect the property rights and security of American citizens like Roger Barnett before the drug violence escalates and Mexico collapses.

Don’t call the Barnetts and groups like the Minutemen “vigilantes.” A better description would be to call them “undocumented” Border Patrol agents.

One comment

  1. I’m thankful a guy like Barnett lives on those acres and not a soggy noodle like the Judge Rolf. Rolf probably WOULD set up a welcome center.

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