Friday, August 19, 2005

Soft-Headed Judge Alert

2 Illegal Immigrants Win Arizona Ranch in Court. Notice how the NYT sets the story up to make it look obvious that the illegal aliens were abused, whether or not they ever were.
DOUGLAS, Ariz., Aug. 18 - Spent shells litter the ground at what is left of the firing range, and camouflage outfits still hang in a storeroom. Just a few months ago, this ranch was known as Camp Thunderbird, the headquarters of a paramilitary group that promised to use force to keep illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border with Mexico.
Now, in a turnabout, the 70-acre property about two miles from the border is being given to two immigrants whom the group caught trying to enter the United States illegally.

The land transfer is being made to satisfy judgments in a lawsuit in which the immigrants had said that Casey Nethercott, the owner of the ranch and a former leader of the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, had harmed them.

"Certainly it's poetic justice that these undocumented workers own this land," said Morris S. Dees Jr., co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which represented the immigrants in their lawsuit.

Mr. Dees said the loss of the ranch would "send a pretty important message to those who come to the border to use violence."
Even if true, this is ridiculous.
Bill Dore, a Douglas resident briefly affiliated with Ranch Rescue who is still active in the border-patrolling Minuteman Project, called the land transfer "ridiculous."

"The illegals are coming over here," Mr. Dore said. "They are getting the American property. Hell, I'd come over, too. Get some American property, make some money from the gringos."

The immigrants getting the ranch, Edwin Alfredo Mancía Gonzáles and Fátima del Socorro Leiva Medina, could not be reached for comment. Kelley Bruner, a lawyer at the law center, said they did not want to speak to the news media but were happy with the outcome.
No doubt. I'd be happy too. One of the reasons that I do not post every day is that I work between 10 to 15 hours a day so that I may save a down payment for a house (not a ranch, a house). Who can be unhappy about free property? But, perhaps they were so severely abused that this was warranted.
Mr. Mancía and Ms. Leiva were caught on a ranch in Hebbronville, Tex., in March 2003 by Mr. Nethercott and other members of Ranch Rescue. The two immigrants later accused Mr. Nethercott of threatening them and of hitting Mr. Mancía with a pistol, charges that Mr. Nethercott denied. The immigrants also said the group gave them cookies, water and a blanket and let them go after an hour or so.
Nethercott is certainly not a character with whom I would sympathize, but it does not appear that these illegal aliens were really abused. Also, on another level this is wrong. Property rights are the very foundation of our Constitution, and that is exactly what liberals are now attacking. While the Ranch Rescue people are depicted as "an extreme anti-immigration group", in America people have rights independent of their political views.

Interestingly, the New York Times was very careful to identify every player in this story except the judge.

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