Humanitarian crisis on our border must be addressed

Whatever your opinion is about illegal immigration, the reality is we have a humanitarian crisis in our borderlands.

People are dying out there.

Other people are being robbed and raped out there.

Regardless of whether they entered the United States illegally, the immigrants are human beings and have human rights.

Until and when the border has been secured to the point people aren’t crossing into the deserts and mountains, the problems of criminal activity against illegal immigrants and their risk of death must be addressed.

Yes, the Border Patrol provides rescue and aid to illegal immigrants out there. But the Border Patrol’s primary purpose is to locate and catch illegal immigrants.

Part of the problem is the consequence of the Border Patrol successfully stemming the flow of illegal immigrants in urban areas, diverting the traffic into more and more remote and inhospitable areas.

Until those remote areas are secured, the flow of illegal immigrants continues, and the risk to them has increased.

A new law enforcement task force is needed to deal with crimes against illegal immigrants.

And the provision of humanitarian aid for illegal immigrants who get into trouble in the desert and mountains needs to be better handled.

Besides the resources for aid and rescue provided by the Border Patrol, we have a number of humanitarian aid groups with volunteers out in the desert and mountains providing water and first aid assistance.

There is not enough of this humanitarian aid effort to fully address the problem. Like it or not, the US government needs to provide funding to the humanitarian aid groups to increase the number of aid workers out there. That effort must be supported until and when the border is actually secured to the point the flow of illegal immigrants is cut to at last 90% of current levels.

There are also areas where humanitarian aid efforts are in conflict with Native American land managers. The Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation is an especially deadly place for illegal immigrants, and Tribal officials are not friendly to humanitarian aid workers running around that reservation. Federal funding needs to be provided to the Tohono O’odham so they can employ their people to provide water and first aid to illegal immigrants who get into trouble.

There are also conflicts between other federal land managers, notably the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and humanitarian groups. That fight….pitting the future of the masked bobwhite versus human life needs to end right now. It is not the job of federal land managers to provide humanitarian aid….but the burden of providing this aid should not also be a purely voluntary effort.

Maybe a program modeled after the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps whereby folks are hired and trained in humanitarian aid work and staffed to federal lands under the supervision of federal land managers would work.

The argument that providing humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants only attracts more illegal immigrants is not only heartless, it is wrong.

Most of not all the illegal immigrants that run into trouble during their attempts to enter the US have no clue what they are getting into, because they have been lied to by migrant smugglers. The problem is the remaining ability to cross the border which hasn’t been solved yet, and criminal illegal alien smugglers who profit from guiding people into deadly desert and mountain environments.

It is a humanitarian crisis that people are dying in our deserts and mountains.

It is a humanitarian crisis that illegal immigrants are preyed upon by bandits in our borderlands.

Just because the illegal immigrants violated the misdemeanor law of illegal entry does not justify making them second-class human beings who are not entitled to water, first aid, and protection from criminals committing felonies against them.


About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
This entry was posted in border issues, border security. Bookmark the permalink.

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