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aevans176
From the Southern Poverty Law Center here:
QUOTE
HEBBRONVILLE, Texas ý Six migrants assaulted in south Texas have filed a civil suit in state court here against Ranch Rescue, a vigilante group notorious for its paramilitary operations along the border.
"The actions of Ranch Rescue and its volunteers are very similar to those of hate groups that we have sued in the past," said Center chief trial counsel Morris Dees. "This as an important case intended to stop violent paramilitary activity along our border with Mexico. If these groups and the ranchers who conspire with them have to pay for their actions, they will think twice before attacking peaceful migrants seeking a better life." Joe Sutton, one of the suit's five defendants, is a Jim Hogg County rancher who this spring invited armed Ranch Rescue volunteers to repel Latinos who regularly cross his property. The plaintiffs ý four from Mexico and two from El Salvador ý claim that they were violently assaulted, falsely imprisoned, robbed at gunpoint and threatened with death in two March incidents on the Sutton ranch.


From SFGATE here:
QUOTE
Law enforcement officials say they have seen few legal violations by the groups, but immigrant rights advocates contend the emergence of vigilantes is evidence that the U.S.-Mexico border is more dangerous than ever.

Illegal immigrants face mistreatment by smugglers and bandits, capture by border guards, dehydration in the desert -- and now armed civilian patrols



It's apparent that Ranchers and Land Owners in Texas (and other border states) are concerned with drug smugglers and other illegal immigrants crossing into the US via their land. The US government is concerned with human rights violations and diplomatic relationships with Mexico.

Questions for debate:
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?



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Ted
Questions for debate:
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?


NO. This is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard. Lets let the criminals sue the people trying to protect their land because our government refuses to do it right.
I do not agree with the tactics of this particular group but unless our government gets off their ----- and does something it will only escalate.



And this statement “Illegal immigrants face mistreatment by smugglers and bandits, capture by border guards, dehydration in the desert -- and now armed civilian patrols” Is ludicrous as well. The smugglers and bandits are part of the illegals coming in.
Do they now expect us to protect them so that they can cross safely (and illegally) into the US? They take the risk for their illegal activety.




2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?

NONE. They are criminals and should be arrested, and not using the current “catch and release” method whereby we hold them for a day and let them go.
London2LA
First, we're talking about actual assaults not just "suspected" rights violations. Assault is illegal regardless of the status of the assaultee, and victims of crime have the right to seek redress for those crimes. Its illegal to be in a bar if you are under 21, its illegal to sneak into a theater without paying. Should bouncers and ushers be allowed to attack violators and suffer no consequence because the person they assaulted wasn't supposed to be there? and should the victims not be able to sue?.
aevans176
QUOTE(London2LA @ Mar 9 2006, 02:09 PM)
First, we're talking about actual assaults not just "suspected" rights violations. Assault is illegal regardless of the status of the assaultee, and victims of crime have the right to seek redress for those crimes. Its illegal to be in a bar if you are under 21, its illegal to sneak into a theater without paying. Should bouncers and ushers be allowed to attack violators and suffer no consequence because the person they assaulted wasn't supposed to be there? and should the victims not be able to sue?.
*




Great. This is what I was looking for.

My question is, if an immigrant is an illegal alien, what rights, guaranteed by the constitution are they guaranteed?

Secondly, the assaults happened on the defendants land.

It's a funny notion. If someone consistently comes into your yard at night and steals your belongings, should you be required to catch them in the act of theft to shoot them? Of course the law states yes, but in the case of illegal aliens, I doubt that it's the same scenario.

It's a catch 22, as the aliens are people and deserve the respect that all humans garner. However, if confronted with a problem that perpetually lends itself to drug smugglers crossing and illegal aliens entering our country, at what point are we going to stand up for ourselves????

Why should illegal aliens, trespassing on American soil, trespassing on private property, be given the same legal respect that an American citizen would garner?

Your of other criminals and rights is skewed, as if a man is in your house in the middle of the night (breaking and entering) and you hit him with a bat, you're within your legal rights in most states. Is it assault if you give him a whack with your nine-iron? Should it be?

In my opinion, these men are doing our nation a service for free. If we all had the same notion, and there were real consequences for being caught immigrating illegally, it would probably be a far less prevalent occurence.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 9 2006, 12:56 PM)
Great. This is what I was looking for.

My question is, if an immigrant is an illegal alien, what rights, guaranteed by the constitution are they guaranteed?

Secondly, the assaults happened on the defendants land.
*


Well this certainly is an interesting case from a legal perspective and I suspect that putting it through the court system is the right way to go. If we have any folks with legal background here it'd be interesting to hear their opinions.

From my perspective it seems like there are some conflicting things here.

1. There is the issue of private property to be considered, but I'm not clear if these vigilantes are actually on their own land or whether they are on state owned land.

2. I forget what exactly this is called but if you are engaged in a criminal enterprise then you have no legal redress for some things. For example, let's say you are a drug dealer and someone robs you. If I'm remembering the law correctly you can't file charges against them for theft.

3. However, there are some cases where you can report crimes like assault even if you are engaged in illegal activity. For example, if a prostitute (illegal act in most states) gets beaten or raped, even during the course of her illegal activities, she can file charges.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, just trying to recall bits of the few law classes I've taken.
CruisingRam
Questions for debate:
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?


Doesn't Texas have strong property protection and trespassing protections for the land owner? I would think shooting them in the head would just about be legal after sundown? So do they even have a leg to stand on regarding texas law?

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?

I wouldn't think they should have any rights at all. The exception I do know about this is the trade in poeple- slavery- doesn't disallow thier illegal status to seek redress in court. But usually- the prosecutor badly wants the "real bad guy" that I think THEY seek a green card for the victim.

Hard to say.
Blackstone
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?

An illegal alien should be entitled to no windfall from any civil suit, unless the defendant is first convicted of an actual criminal offense against him. And any money he does collect should be for strictly economic damages only (not "pain and suffering" or "emotional distress" or punitive damages of any kind).

And I think if anything, I'm erring on the side of generosity here.

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?

If they're violently assaulted, they deserve to have the criminal law applied against the perpetrators (or to put it more accurately, WE as a society deserve to have the attackers charged and tried, because it's not a good idea to encourage violent behavior by our citizens, regardless of who's the target). But civil remedies are a whole separate matter, as I dealt with above.
Victoria Silverwolf
Folks here may be interested to look at the web site of "Ranch Rescue," the organization which is involved with these activities.

Link

I found this comment on media coverage of their activities interesting.

QUOTE
The major news media in the USA and worldwide is a loosely associated group of pathological liars and Socialist tools.


I'll spare you the rest. I didn't bother to count how many times phrases like "Socialist agenda" and "Liberal Socialist" and "Socialist Liberal" (for the sake of variety, I suppose) show up.

Surf through this web site and see how many, well, unusual political opinions you can find. Here's one at random, from a book review:

QUOTE
Hillary Klinton is a psychopath. That pretty much explains how and why and how she and her assemblage of acolytes, ruthless, shrewd, and calculating Lesbian FemiNazis all, are working steadily toward controlling everyone else's lives.

One of these FemiNazis was appointed to head the Department of Justice and another headed the IRS. Five of these Hillary subordinates are members of international subversive organizations whose goal is to end American sovereignty and bring about a global Marxist dictatorship.


My point is that "Ranch Rescue" is not just a group of people providing protection against criminal activity, but an organization with an openly far right wing agenda. They need to be watched like hawks, to make sure they always stay absolutely within the letter of the law. Once they step outside of it, they need to be treated like any other criminals.

Catching criminals in the midst of an illegal activity does not automatically give you the right to use any kind of force you please against them. (Some would not agree. I have heard some people say that if anyone sets foot on your property, even a teenager wrapping toilet paper around your house, the proper response is to shoot to kill. These people would probably be happy to join "Ranch Rescue.")

So, in answer to question one, anybody should have the right to bring charges against anyone else for violation of basic human rights. (Such charges require proof, of course.) In answer to question two, illegal aliens should have the same basic human rights as any other accused criminals. These would include the right not to be subjected to amounts of force disproportionate to the crime, the right to a fair trial, and so on.
aevans176
QUOTE(Victoria Silverwolf @ Mar 9 2006, 11:53 PM)
Catching criminals in the midst of an illegal activity does not automatically give you the right to use any kind of force you please against them.  (Some would not agree.  I have heard some people say that if anyone sets foot on your property, even a teenager wrapping toilet paper around your house, the proper response is to shoot to kill.  These people would probably be happy to join "Ranch Rescue.") 

So, in answer to question one, anybody should have the right to bring charges against anyone else for violation of basic human rights.  (Such charges require proof, of course.)  In answer to question two, illegal aliens should have the same basic human rights as any other accused criminals.  These would include the right not to be subjected to amounts of force disproportionate to the crime, the right to a fair trial, and so on.
*



Whoa Nelly....
Don't even attempt to coorelate Ranch Rescue to murders and "shootings in the head", as that's not the case.

Frankly, if deadly force were authorized, it might help to quell the illegal immigration with wanton abandonment, but as I wouldn't want to be the person to pull the trigger I'll leave that for another debate.

However, if illegal aliens are rounded up on private property, and get "roughed up" in the process, maybe it could serve as a deterrent to them crossing illegally in the future.

Quite openly, I believe that the "catch and release" program is a crock, and a tragedy in American culture. There are no consequences to immigrating illegally, of course other than sending them back to cross again.

Oh, and in reference to the "human rights", I believe that if you've ever read about what happens to Americans in Mexican jails, that Ranch Rescue is far more "kind and gentle"...

Finally, my feeling is that if these people are violating the law, charge them criminally. However, Mexican nationals on private property SHOULD NOT have the capacity to sue in civil court, and sure as heck shouldn't be aided by the southern poverty law center... they should be ashamed of themselves.
Robert B
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 9 2006, 02:56 PM)
In my opinion, these men are doing our nation a service for free. If we all had the same notion, and there were real consequences for being caught immigrating illegally, it would probably be a far less prevalent occurence.


These are the guys you think we need more of:


QUOTE(SPLC report linked in initial post)
Ranch Rescue president and national spokesman Jack Foote, who helped lead the attacks, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Foote has described Mexicans as "dog turds" who are "ignorant, uneducated and desperate for a life in a decent nation because the one [they] live in is nothing but a pile of dog [excrement] made up of millions of little dog turds ..."


QUOTE
My question is, if an immigrant is an illegal alien, what rights, guaranteed by the constitution are they guaranteed?


IANAL, and I know that noncitizens don't have the same rights citizens do. But rights don't have to be specified in the Constitution to be binding. Otherwise noncitizens (legal or not) would have NO rights in the US, which they clearly do.

Why shouldn't noncitizens be able to sue for crimes committed in the US? If you were in Madrid and a drunk driver jumped a curb and crippled you for life, why should you not be able to sue? What if you were there illegally? Does that mean drunk drivers shouldn't be liable for injury they cause you? Or that vigiliantes shouldn't be liable for human rights violations?

QUOTE
Secondly, the assaults happened on the defendants land.


Owning the land doesn't make you a law unto yourself - even in Texas, y'all. smile.gif

QUOTE(SPLC report linked in initial post)
The suit claims that one of the Salvadorans seized by Ranch Rescue was pistol-whipped. The Mexicans caught crossing Sutton's ranch were forced to walk barefoot through rough terrain after having their shoes confiscated. Money hidden in a shoe was stolen.


(Again, these are the folks we should be emulating?) I don't understand why such behavior should be treated any differently based upon the victims' immigration status.

QUOTE
It's a funny notion. If someone consistently comes into your yard at night and steals your belongings, should you be required to catch them in the act of theft to shoot them? Of course the law states yes, but in the case of illegal aliens, I doubt that it's the same scenario.


Why do you doubt this? It seems that you're saying that if my neighbor's ancient housekeeper is an illegal alien and I can prove that she's stolen from me before, I should be permitted to kill her if she sets foot in my yard. Please correct what surely must be a misunderstanding on my part.

QUOTE
Why should illegal aliens, trespassing on American soil, trespassing on private property, be given the same legal respect that an American citizen would garner?


They are not given the same "legal respect" that citizens get. For one thing, citizens cannot be summarily deported, whereas illegal aliens can be. Who is saying illegal aliens should have the same status that citizens get?

Why shouldn't people be held fully accountable - criminally and civilly - for unlawful actions against anyone regardless of the victim's immigration status?

QUOTE
Your of other criminals and rights is skewed, as if a man is in your house in the middle of the night (breaking and entering) and you hit him with a bat, you're within your legal rights in most states. Is it assault if you give him a whack with your nine-iron? Should it be?


Believe me, if this had been a case of breaking and entering into someone's house in Texas, nobody would care about the dead intruder's immigation status. But rounding up tresspassers on your ranch to harrass, assault, falsely imprison and steal from is a no-no and a legitimate invitation to a lawsuit.

QUOTE(Blackstone @ Yesterday, 10:11 PM)
An illegal alien should be entitled to no windfall from any civil suit, unless the defendant is first convicted of an actual criminal offense against him. And any money he does collect should be for strictly economic damages only (not "pain and suffering" or "emotional distress" or punitive damages of any kind).


What is your rationale for this? Why shouldn't people be held fully accountable - criminally and civilly - for unlawful actions against anyone regardless of the victim's immigration status?

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aevans176
QUOTE(Robert B @ Mar 10 2006, 09:24 AM)
Why do you doubt this? It seems that you're saying that if my neighbor's ancient housekeeper is an illegal alien and I can prove that she's stolen from me before, I should be permitted to kill her if she sets foot in my yard. Please correct what surely must be a misunderstanding on my part.


I find it amusing that people keep using the word KILL in these debates. No one is advocating killing illegal immigrants.

QUOTE
But rounding up tresspassers on your ranch to harrass, assault, falsely imprison and steal from is a no-no and a legitimate invitation to a lawsuit.


Umm... if they're trespassers and illegal aliens, how is it false imprisonment?? That's absurd. They're clearly breaking the law and immigrating illegally...
And the "stealing" thing is absolutely alleged...

QUOTE
Why shouldn't noncitizens be able to sue for crimes committed in the US? If you were in Madrid and a drunk driver jumped a curb and crippled you for life, why should you not be able to sue? What if you were there illegally? Does that mean drunk drivers shouldn't be liable for injury they cause you? Or that vigiliantes shouldn't be liable for human rights violations?


Actually... if I were in Madrid Illegally as you mentioned, there's a GREAT chance that I wouldn't have any legal recourse... do you really think that any other nation is going to persecute a citizen for a crime done to a foreign national in their country illegally???

Finally, no one has ever answered the notion that such actions may act as a deterrent to future illegal immigration. Fences, expensive border patrol agents, etc have all been mentioned... but knowing that you might get roughed up for crossing illegally just MIGHT help to deter future illegal immigration, wouldn't it?


Carlsen
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 10 2006, 06:23 PM)
Finally, no one has ever answered the notion that such actions may act as a deterrent to future illegal immigration. Fences, expensive border patrol agents, etc have all been mentioned... but knowing that you might get roughed up for crossing illegally just MIGHT help to deter future illegal immigration, wouldn't it?
*



Whats the difference between "roughing" somebody up and violent assault, that is illegal under the law? Should all private citizens be allowed to "rough" people up for percieved crimes, as to deter them from engaging in such crimes in the future, because why should "rouging up" be limited to illegal immigrants? Its fine that they apprehend illegal aliens on private property and turn them over to authorities, but if they start to steal from them or violently assault them, then they should of course be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That should of course be selfevident, but apparently it's not.

I am all for taking measures to counter illegal immigration, trust me on that, but we should not tolerate people operating outside the law, no matter how noble their motives might be (and reading the Ranch Rescue website certainly doesn't give me the impression they have noble motives anyway).

As to the question of whether illegal aliens, who could possibly be mexican nationals, should be able to sue people in the United States, I see no problem in them doing so. As a foreign national it is certainly possible to sue people and companies in the United States - it happens all the time.
Robert B
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 10 2006, 11:23 AM)
I find it amusing that people keep using the word KILL in these debates. No one is advocating killing illegal immigrants.


Amusing or no, this is the passage that I referenced from your post:

QUOTE
If someone consistently comes into your yard at night and steals your belongings, should you be required to catch them in the act of theft to shoot them? Of course the law states yes, but in the case of illegal aliens, I doubt that it's the same scenario.


This was vague and difficult to parse, but it sounds like you're saying that we should be required to catch a thief in the act in order to be justified in killing him/her "but in the case of illegal aliens, [you] doubt that it's the same scenario." How else would you like me to interpret this? Perhaps you can set your amusement aside and clarify what you meant by the vague phrase "I doubt that it's the same scenario"?

QUOTE
Umm... if they're trespassers and illegal aliens, how is it false imprisonment?? That's absurd. They're clearly breaking the law and immigrating illegally...


It's false or illegal imprisonment becuase the Ranch Rescue vigilantes do not have the legal authority to imprison anyone - even, incredibly, illegal aliens.

I wonder exactly what rights you think a person gives up when they illegally enter another country?

QUOTE
And the "stealing" thing is absolutely alleged...
Exactly as it would be in a civil suit involving only US citizens. This is irrelevant.

QUOTE
Actually... if I were in Madrid Illegally as you mentioned, there's a GREAT chance that I wouldn't have any legal recourse... do you really think that any other nation is going to persecute a citizen for a crime done to a foreign national in their country illegally???


Again, exactly what rights do you think a person gives up when they illegally enter another country? Do you think they somehow become legally "subhuman" or are instantly stripped of their basic human rights? That they in effect become free game for any citizen who wants to victimize them?

QUOTE
Finally, no one has ever answered the notion that such actions may act as a deterrent to future illegal immigration. Fences, expensive border patrol agents, etc have all been mentioned... but knowing that you might get roughed up for crossing illegally just MIGHT help to deter future illegal immigration, wouldn't it?


In answer to this notion: I wholeheartedly agree that such illegal treatment is a deterrent. It would be even a bigger deterrent if we captured illegal aliens and handed them over to a community of certified psychopaths to be tortured to death - maybe for a snuff film that we could ask the government of Mexico to distribute. How does the "deterrent effect" justify allowing US citizens to assault, beat, steal from, and falsely imprison people?
Blackstone
QUOTE(Robert B @ Mar 10 2006, 10:23 AM)
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Yesterday, 10:11 PM)
An illegal alien should be entitled to no windfall from any civil suit, unless the defendant is first convicted of an actual criminal offense against him. And any money he does collect should be for strictly economic damages only (not "pain and suffering" or "emotional distress" or punitive damages of any kind).


What is your rationale for this? Why shouldn't people be held fully accountable - criminally and civilly - for unlawful actions against anyone regardless of the victim's immigration status?
*

I'm not opposed to holding people accountable for unlawful actions. I am opposed to letting illegal aliens get a windfall for non-economic damages, especially when the evidence against the defendant is not airtight. My rationale is simple: If they weren't in the country illegally, nothing would have happened to them. And if the door is opened for lawsuits the same way it is for citizens to sue each other for just about any perceived "tort", it will have a chilling effect on legitimate attempts to help defend the border and people's property.

If this suit is allowed to stand, watch for future suits against property owners who fail to make their property sufficiently "safe" for passage. There already is a phenomenon of lawsuits by citizens who trespass onto other people's property and get injured somehow, and then sue the property owner for damages. I have no desire at all to see that phenomenon extended to illegal aliens.
skeeterses
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?
They should have NO rights. Despite the Mexican Wall and the Border Patrol deporting illegal aliens, the illegal immigrants still don't get the message that Americans don't want them here. I think its time to start using Draconian Measures and start publicly executing illegal immigrants.
Lawnmower Man
Who shops at Wal*Mart? I'll bet a bunch of Republicans do. And I'll bet they don't do it because of the high-quality products stocking the shelves. Guess why Wal*Mart products are so darned cheap? It's because the cleaning guy/gal gets paid $3/hr. and no benefits. "That's illegal!" you say? Of course it is. And they won't say a peep, because they're illegal aliens. They're probably in a Wal*Mart you shop at. They endure harsh solvents and other workplace hazards for dirt cheap pay because they will do anything for a chance to succeed. If you think Wal*Mart is charging you too little and you oppose illegal immigration, prove it by voting with your wallet and shopping Target instead. But if you step foot in a Wal*Mart, don't complain about the low prices, and don't complain about illegals. Next time you go to buy cheap fruit, stop and ask yourself if it was harvested by illegals. You wouldn't want to be contributing to the influx, would you? Better only buy products that are certified "legal labor only".

The fact is, immigrants from all countries, illegal or not, contribute to the wealth of America by providing dirt cheap labor that most US citizens are unwilling to perform. Most of the well-paying jobs require so much documentation that illegals don't dare to apply for them. Jobs at chicken processing plants and other such undesirable but economically valuable factories are often staffed by people of questionable immigration status. But the employers like them working there, and consumers like the low prices they pay at the register. All in all, most all of us benefit from immigration. Need I remind us that America was mostly populated by immigrants? Almost every family in America was an immigrant at some point, and that is what makes America great.

What about the drug problem? Well, what about it? Most liberals and some pot-smoking conservatives think a lot, if not all drugs should be legal in the first place. My position? Legalize everything, and fine the heck out of the damages. So, for instance, if you cause a car accident, you get one fine. If you cause a car accident while high, you get fined so high you'll want to be high for the rest of your life. Basically, use economics to punish people who cause problems under the influence of narcotics. If you can use narcotics safely, great. You're only hurting yourself. If you hurt someone else because you were high, you'll have to pay dearly for that.

But the reason we have a War on Drugs is simple. Illegal drugs are extremely lucrative. That's why the gov't trafficks in it. The CIA does a heck of a lot more than just spying and gun running. As a side benefit, you can arrest undesirable minorities on minor drug charges and lock them up. Double-bonus for the double-plus good State! Let's all thank Big Brother for watching over us.
smorpheus
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Mar 11 2006, 09:44 PM)
They should have NO rights.  Despite the Mexican Wall and the Border Patrol deporting illegal aliens, the illegal immigrants still don't get the message that Americans don't want them here.  I think its time to start using Draconian Measures and start publicly executing illegal immigrants.


How about we just cut off their feet? That way they can't run across the border anymore.

Seriously, people need to take a step back and realize you're talking about *real human beings* the same human beings that comprise your family, your friends, your loved ones. These aren't some Carlos Mencia cartoon character Mexicans, these are real people who breath, bleed, and have feelings just like you do. Please have enough empathy to at least acknowledge their status as human. Anything less is quite simply, pure and utter evil racism masquerading as nationalism (hmmm, sound familiar?).

Aevans is bouncing between saying, to paraphrase, "Ranchers should be allowed to indiscretionally shoot people crossing through their property." and saying "Ranch Rescue is doing nothing wrong."

Which is it? Let's assume all the accusations are true. If Ranch Rescue truly beat these people, should they be civilly responsible?

I know where I stand, absolutely! The problem is I'm not sure where Aevans or Blackstone stand, because they're arguing two sides of the argument at once.
CruisingRam
My dad lives in a place called San Benito Tx. Few miles from Brownsville. He has fenced off his 1000 acres or so, at great expense- and pretty much has it guarded with very mean dogs, because it has become a hiway for both illegals and drug traffickers. He has signs in spanish and english "Cross this fence and die, electric fence, vicious dogs, armed property owner"- he used to not give a crap about all that- but he can be held liable for injury on his property to illegal aliens- according to his insurance.

Interestingly enough- since his 1K acres are "small"- he can patrol them with, get this, some other illegal aliens he knows LOL- and the illegals, coyotes, and drug traffickers know to keep away- and avoid him.

Because he will certainly take headshots at night to tresspassers, and he is a crack shot, it is his main passion and hobby.

he has been advised that, under texas law, he is allowed to protect property after sundown as well as life.

It is too bad that it has come to this- my dad used to be pretty progressive about illegals- until the drug trade and coyotes made it so much more dangerous- and used to give work to those that came to his door asking for it.

So- I am sure these rachers rogues or what ever they are are probably the freaky right wingers some have been made out to be- but it still doesn't negate the question- because the property owner is in an awful position.

Liability for drugs and accidents on his property, not to mention stolen crops, and damage to his stuff. And on the other hand, defending his property and livelihood, he is branded a racist- which he is surely not.

So- the question is more complex, I think, than we give credit for.

Which is paramount- the property owners right to protect what is his- or the illegal aliens' right to life or such- when they are, by definition, not citizens?
Mrs. Pigpen
This one is kind of hard for me. First, I think it needs to be said, because it is often overlooked, that much of Texas industry along the border depends on illegal immigrants. This isn't something restricted to Walmart. These industries simply would not survive if not for illegal immigrants working the factories, and the economy of Texas would be dramatically effected as those industries would otherwise pack up and move overseas. The jobs these people are taking are the ones American citizens don't want because the pay is so poor. To answer the questions:

I don't believe that civil litigation should be possible in this case, on private property, if the owner used a reasonable amount of force depending on the situation. I don't know enough facts about the case, but I'll use an example from childhood. When adolescents (not myself of course whistling.gif) used to tread on farmer's property in Florida, the farmers would load up their rifles with rock salt and shoot. We knew the consequences of coming on to their property, and consent to potentially get our legs stung was implicit in the action of trespassing (if you step into a fighting ring, you are going to get punched). Certain consequences are implicit when the illegal takes the action of crossing, in particular stepping on to someone's private property. I'd say each case is individual. If there is reason to suspect the illegal is carrying a weapon, even deadly force is warranted. If it's a woman crossing over with children or some equal situation that any reasonable person would conclude isn't a direct threat to life and limb, excessive force is not warranted, but the people could certainly be confined. It depends.
Julian
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?

It's a safeguard of our legal system* that if, for some reason, the state prosecuting authorities do not press charges against an alleged criminal (all crimes are "alleged" against a person until a conviction is secured), the individual has the right to pursue them civilly. Because imprisonment is not a sentencing option in civil cases, damages are awarded against the "guilty" party.

The downside is that people can mischieviously file suit, costing their target time and money whether or not the case comes to court, and that sometimes such suits win and cost the targets a lot more than that. I think this would only apply to illegal immigrants if their bruises and cuts and other injuries are not real.

Nobody I can find is saying that these people have not really been beaten or abused, so I think it is reasonable to hold those responsible to account.

The Texas prosecuting authorities have not done this, for reasons obscure to me. Personally I think this would be the best solution - People of Texas vs Immigration Vigilantes - but since it hasn't happened, I think it's reasonable for civil suit to be filed. The time to be worried is when such things are not allowed.

And while I entirely agree that illegal immigrants should be deported, their illegal status is dependent on their paperwork, not on their chosen method of migration. If they've got the appropriate visas and work permits and just want to cross the border in an isolated rural spot on foot or in the back of a truck, that's their prerogative. Either way, they should only be deported once some form of legal tribunal has taken place that gives them a right to prove their innocence (even if very few are able to do so, due process should apply.)

*England and America are similar enough in this regard to consider them together. I say specifically "England" and not my more usual "Britain" because the Scottish legal system is somewhat different e.g. the third possible jury verdict of "not proven" in criminal cases.

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?

The right to fair and humane treatment, and to due process of law, mainly.

As citizens, we recognise that fellow citizens who commit crimes automatically forfeit some of their basic rights by doing so - the right to liberty, for instance. But our legal system still guarantees them others, most particularly that any decisions on what to do with them shall be taken by the appropriate legal authorities. The extent of the involvement of ordinary citizens in this is (rightly) limited to jury service.

And we also recognise that legal immigrants have the right to the full protection of the law - "negative" rights, if you like; their rights are mostly the right not to have certain things done to them (theft, assault, etc.) - but don't get some of the "positive" rights enjoyed by full citizens (the right to vote, for instance).

I don't see any particular point of principle in law or anywhere else that says that people (citizens or not) who have broken immigrations laws forfeit more rights than people (citizens or not) who break any other laws. Vigilantism is not encouraged against fraud, theft, burglary, or other non-violent crimes, so it should not be tolerated here.

But, you asked what rights do they have?

QUOTE
QUOTE(Amendment XIV Clause 1 @  emphasis mine)
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


This makes a distinction between a "citizen" and a "person" in such a way as to make it clear, to me at least, that a "person" has rights to life liberty and property and to the equal protection of law, and that a subset of "persons", namely "citizens" has further rights (enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, and mostly to do with who can and cannot vote, stand for Congress or President, etc. ).

QUOTE
QUOTE(Amendment IX)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Taken together with Amendment IX, I think we can say with ample Constitutional backing that illegal immigrants, despite their status, qualify in every meaningful way as legal persons, and therefore they have every legal right guaranteed by the Constitution that does not specifically pertain to citizens.

That is to say, ANYONE and EVERYONE has ALL of the rights (and the responsibilities) of a US citizen while they are under US jurisdiction, except those regarding electoral procedures such as voting, standing for office, etc.

Prosecute illegal aliens for breaking immigration laws, by all means. If the penalty for guilt is deportation and a lifetime bar on entering the US legally, and they are found guilty, deport them and bar their future entry. Fine.

But nobody in America should be allowed to ill-treat them or violate any of the rights that America itself guarantees them under its own Consitution without facing the consequences.

I honestly can't see another way to read this, and I think it brings many current American attitudes and behaviours towards non-citizens (be they illegal immigrants, "enemy combatants" or foreign port-owning companies) into an unflattering and somewhat hypocritical light.
Robert B
QUOTE(Blackstone @ Mar 11 2006, 09:57 PM)
There already is a phenomenon of lawsuits by citizens who trespass onto other people's property and get injured somehow, and then sue the property owner for damages.  I have no desire at all to see that phenomenon extended to illegal aliens.


I agree that some such suits can be galling and may constitute an abuse of the civil legal code. But: Surely you will ackowledge that there is a difference between getting sued because 1) some drunk trespassed onto your ranch and fell into an abandoned well which you marked and covered (but not "sufficiently") versus 2) you invited some vigilantes to harass, threaten, pistol-whip and falsely imprison trespassers? IMO there is a difference between not making your ranch safe for passage vs inviting people to commit crimes against trespassers.

If the rancher had decided to hire a bonded security agency who adequately trained and supervised their guards, the liability would stay with the security company. But inviting untrained vigilantes with an obvious axe to grind against illegals is a different decision altogether.


QUOTE
I'm not opposed to holding people accountable for unlawful actions.  I am opposed to letting illegal aliens get a windfall for non-economic damages, especially when the evidence against the defendant is not airtight.  My rationale is simple: If they weren't in the country illegally, nothing would have happened to them.  And if the door is opened for lawsuits the same way it is for citizens to sue each other for just about any perceived "tort", it will have a chilling effect on legitimate attempts to help defend the border and people's property.

If this suit is allowed to stand, watch for future suits against property owners who fail to make their property sufficiently "safe" for passage.


The "if they weren't here, it wouldn't have happened to them" rationale is flawed because it applies equally to a citizen who wanted to torture an illegal alien to death for grins. However, the "chilling effect" argument has some merit.
Yogurt
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 9 2006, 10:15 AM)
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?


I think Julian put down about the best argument so far. As humans they are entitles to human rights, but not rights enumerated to citizens.

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law? Texas Criminal Procedure - Code and Rules, specifies the conditions under which you, a private citizen, may make an arrest. A private person may arrest another person without warrant when: <snip>


I believe they have the right to be detained/arrested and be returned. Although I'm not an expert on Texas law, Texans appear to have the right to make a citizen's arrest in misdemeanor cases in the case of a breach of "public peace".

In re: the brutalization, I suspect there are two sides to the story. One can assume the lawyers for the Mexicans put forth only their side, and the media joyfully reported it. If, in the course of any detainment or arrest, the violators did not submit voluntarily, there may be cause for reasonable force. As with any tense situation the epinephrine and testosterone are freely flowing. One could easily see the line getting crossed.

As for as any civil suits and trials, I presume they would take place in Texas. I think that this venue would prove less generous to illegals than to plaintiffs against drug companies or the like...


Julian
QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 12 2006, 04:47 PM)
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 9 2006, 10:15 AM)
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?


I think Julian put down about the best argument so far. As humans they are entitles to human rights, but not rights enumerated to citizens.
*



Thanks for the support, but that isn't quite the argument I put down - the Fourteenth Amendment specifically does entitle illegal immigrants (and everyone else under US jurisdiction) to enumerated rights under the US Constitution - rights to silence, to bear arms, to due process, to avoid self incrimination, to probable cause etc. - and not just to general human rights under generic UN conventions (if indeed that's what you meant).

Anyone who legally constitutes a person, including businesses (who aren't citizens either) is entitled to full Constitutional protection under US jurisdiction, whether or not they have broken any laws.

The only rights specifically enumerated to citizens, defined as those born in or naturalised to the USA, are to do with entitlements to the vote, to standing for governmental office, etc.

I wasn't clear from the rest of your post if this is what you thought I meant, since you went on to discuss the rights that Texans have in Texas. That's fair enough, but am I not right in thinking that any rights conferred by state government have to be in compliance with the US Constitution, again under the Fourteenth Amendment?
Yogurt
QUOTE(Julian @ Mar 12 2006, 12:20 PM)
Thanks for the support, but that isn't quite the argument I put downI wasn't clear from the rest of your post if this is what you thought I meant, since you went on to discuss the rights that Texans have in Texas. That's fair enough, but am I not right in thinking that any rights conferred by state government have to be in compliance with the US Constitution, again under the Fourteenth Amendment?


Twasn't meant to paraphrase your post, Perhaps I should have disconnected my opinion from yours with a couple carriage returns. innocent.gif

As far as the remainder of the post, I conjoined what could have been a few posts into one.

I think the Texas state and local laws at some point were assumed or found to be constitutionally compliant. But the laws are dynamic and await but the next challenge... Just citing some seemingly relevant Texas law that may come into play.
Blackstone
QUOTE(Robert B @ Mar 12 2006, 10:15 AM)
Surely you will ackowledge that there is a difference between getting sued because  1) some drunk trespassed onto your ranch and fell into an abandoned well which you marked and covered (but not "sufficiently") versus 2) you invited some vigilantes to harass, threaten, pistol-whip and falsely imprison trespassers? IMO there is a difference between not making your ranch safe for passage vs inviting people to commit crimes against trespassers.

-snip-

QUOTE
The "if they weren't here, it wouldn't have happened to them" rationale is flawed because it applies equally to a citizen who wanted to torture an illegal alien to death for grins.
*

Both these points you raise are the reason why I agree with you that those who commit actual crimes against (legal or illegal) aliens should be subject to the same criminal process as those who commit actual crimes against citizens. Where I draw the line is when it comes to torts. Suits of those kinds brought by illegal aliens need to be hedged in by restrictions along the lines of what I described earlier.
aevans176
QUOTE(smorpheus @ Mar 12 2006, 02:50 AM)
Aevans is bouncing between saying, to paraphrase, "Ranchers should be allowed to indiscretionally shoot people crossing through their property." and saying "Ranch Rescue is doing nothing wrong." 


Ugh...... I never said that Ranch Rescue could shoot immigrants indiscriminantly... dry.gif Good job with not actually quoting me.

However, I do believe that if we are continuously catching and releasing the same immigrants... there's a good chance that we're throwing money at the wind.

How much does it cost to patrol our border with Mexico?? I really can't find that figure... but can say that according to this article, the INS made 1.7MILLION arrests in 2005 for illegal immigration.

What does that mean? Simply, that our program isn't working. The same ol' people are coming, and probably even more.

What should be done? It's hard to say... but I don't think that the immigrants who crossed illegally should have the legal recourse to sue US Citizens when caught on private property crossing illegally. That's the bottom line.
Here are the facts:
- They weren't seriously hurt. No one was hospitalized, and no one was killed (as some posters would imply)
- No other "inhumane" violations were discussed. They weren't kept in horrible conditions, drug through the desert, etc
- If they were just released back into Mexico with the bruises to remember the ranchers by, chances are they'd think twice about crossing illegally again.

To answer the economic impact of illegal immigration, how about we start with this article, which states that according to FAIR that "between 40 and 50 percent of wage-loss among low-skilled Americans is due to the immigration of low-skilled workers".

The same article says:
QUOTE
The National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, found in 1997 that the average immigrant without a high school education imposes a net fiscal burden on public coffers of $89,000 during the course of his or her lifetime. The average immigrant with only a high school education creates a lifetime fiscal burden of $31,000.8

80% of cocaine and 50% of heroin in the U.S. is smuggled across the border by Mexican nationals. Drug cartels spend a half-billion dollars per year bribing Mexico's corrupt generals and police officials, and armed confrontations between the Mexican army and U.S. Border Patrol agents are a real threat. There have been 118 documented incursions by the Mexican military over the last five years.


So, simply put, if there was a true deterrent to illegal immigration, could we prop up the industries that rely on said labor by giving them some of the money that we'd save by not having to employ such a expansive border patrol force??? If private citizens, acting within "relatively acceptable" boundaries were allowed to help prevent such immigration, coupled with the deterrent of "discomfort" upon being caught for future illegal immigration, how much money would the US Gov't save???

If meat packing is low-wage/low-margin, why not give them federal funding to hire legal immigrants/unskilled labor in the US? Then we could enforce true penalties to illegal immigration, and not spend so much on this catch and release boondoggle...
JeepMan



It's apparent that Ranchers and Land Owners in Texas (and other border states) are concerned with drug smugglers and other illegal immigrants crossing into the US via their land. The US government is concerned with human rights violations and diplomatic relationships with Mexico.

Questions for debate:
1. Should Immigrants crossing into the United States illegally be able to sue for "suspected" rights violations?

Absolutely not, they should be treated like invading soldiers, shot if they are armed and refuse to submit, and then arrested, or just arrested if they are not armed.

2. Considering their illegal status, what rights should illegal immigrants have in the eyes of the law?

Illegals are non entities in my mind, they are no more than interlopers on American soil. Why can't these criminals enter the correct way if they are coming to the US for good purposes, i.e., work, school, etc.

*

[/quote]
techniac
They are going after the whole country eventually

Video Here :

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Enjoy your future with Open Borders and Gustworker Amnesties .
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