In one of the more bizarre legal twists that has been seen in a long while, trespassing illegal aliens have been awarded $78,000 because a rancher detained them, on his property, until the U.S. Border Patrol arrived,
A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn't violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.
The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn't liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.
But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages -- $60,000 of which were punitive.
...All six plaintiffs are citizens of Mexico, five of whom are living in the United States with visa applications pending, and the sixth resides in Mexico but was allowed into the U.S. for the trial, said Nina Perales, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She declined to say where in the U.S. they're residing.
...The plaintiffs alleged that Barnett threatened them with his dog and told them he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.
Barnett's lawyers argued that his land was inundated with illegal immigrants who left trash on his property, damaged his water supply and harmed his cattle.
...The Barnetts detain and turn over those whom they encounter to the U.S. Border Patrol. In 2006, Barnett estimated that he had detained more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in 10 years.
His actions have resulted in formal complaints from the Mexican government against what it considers vigilante actions, and in several other lawsuits, including one stemming from an October 2004 incident.
In that case, a jury awarded a family of Mexican-Americans on a hunting trip $100,000 in damages, later upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.
So, these criminals sneak across the border, trespass on his land, he detains them, and they end up staying in the country illegally trying to get VISAs while he's out $78,000?
To begin with, no one in the country illegally should be able to sue an American citizen in the first place.
Secondly, these illegals are criminals twice over. Not only are they illegals, they were trespassing on his land. If they hadn't been flagrantly breaking the law, there wouldn't have been any sort of problem.
As is, I'm scratching my head figuring out what this guy is supposed to have done wrong. He detained people who weren't supposed to be on his property in the first place. So Barnett "threatened them with his dog and told them he would shoot anyone who tried to escape," so what? That's a completely appropriate way to treat criminals who are trespassing on your land.
Moreover, how insane is it that an American citizen has been put in a position where he has had to detain "more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in 10 years"? He has unknown people walking all over his property, trashing it -- and don't kid yourself, given that illegals are people who don't respect our laws by definition, his life and his family's life have probably been in danger many times.
Why does this guy have to go through this nonsense? So a bunch businessmen with the ethics of mafioso can save a few bucks by hiring illegals? So Democrats can get a few extra voters? So racist groups like La Raza can make a few bucks complaining about something? Because Republicans are afraid of being called racist if they insist on enforcing laws that Mexicans are particularly wont to break?
If anything, Roger Barnett should be given a medal for keeping 10,000 illegal aliens off the streets while the federal government sat around with their thumbs up their *sses and let anyone and everyone just wander into our country.