Are there human rights for people who cross the border illegally?

migrant copyWe’re in the season where the coyotes guide people across the border into Southern Arizona and tell them the interstate is just a few miles away. And they leave them to wander around and die in the desert.

I’ve personally run into folks who were left to die out here thinking they were just an hour or so from Interstate 8. This is at a point south of Ruby Road and miles west of I-19.

Some folks like to rant about the crimes illegal aliens commit.

But what about the crimes committed against people who cross the border illegally?

This morning a friend was telling me about undocumented folks coming to his door on the western edge of Nogales without shoes. They had been robbed and left to wander in the desert barefoot. He gave them shoes and water.

arizona-desert-signIf you were caught speeding…breaking the law…is there justification to take your wife out of the car and rape her? You and she are a law breakers, aren’t you? Are you concerned about the “rape trees” down here?

If you were caught without legal registration of your vehicle, is it ok for me to take your car and leave you stranded in the desert to die? You violated the law, didn’t you?

How come there isn’t a wanted list of those coyotes who have been routinely dumping people out in our deserts to die?

How come not a single serial killer coyote has been brought to justice on either side of the border?

Hiding behind the argument that folks who cross the border have committed a crime by crossing doesn’t give anyone the right to rob these people, to rape the women, or to lie to them and leave them to die horrible deaths here.

When the folks who rant about illegal entry start paying attention to the human beings who are being victimized in our borderlands, and recognizing they have basic human rights, then the racist overtone of the anti-immigrant argument might go away.

But as long as we tolerate and look the other way as a society from the horror being visited on crossers, we as a nation are not the good people we claim we are.

Credit:Nick Oza/IPS

Credit:Nick Oza/IPS


We are now living down here in the borderlands in a place where it can be considered a crime to give someone some water  who crosses our border illegally. People have been prosecuted for littering by just leaving water bottles out in the desert for crossers.

Did my friend commit a crime by giving a crosser a pair of shoes and some water? Am I a criminal because I have given water to crossers I encounter down here?

Is that the America our founding fathers created in 1776?


About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
This entry was posted in border issues, border patrol, border patrol tucson sector, border security, department of homeland security, immigration law reform, us customs and border protection and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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