Opinion from Fanning: The brutality of the desert must impact the immigration debate

The desert is brutal

Suppose you lived in Mexico. You looked across the border to America and dreamed of the opportunities. You contacted a guide, a “Coyote.” You paid him your life savings to take you across the border safely. You and ten others were safely escorted across. Awakening one morning, the Coyote was gone. He had taken plenty of water and food with him. You and the others were left with the bare necessities. You were left in the middle of the Arizona desert in the summer.

Suppose you lived in Mexico. You saw an opportunity to make some money by transporting drugs over the border. A member of the drug cartel loaded you and 19 others with bags containing 50 pounds of drugs. You made it safely across the border with a guide to a “lay -up” point where the drugs would be picked up and transported for sale. The guide left you and the others in the middle of the Arizona desert in the summer.

The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico is soaring. In the past 9 months, the Border Patrol agents reported close to 100. The number is so high the medical examiner’s office handling the bodies is using a refrigerated truck to store some of them.

Many of these deaths result from ruthless smugglers lying to immigrants claiming they will only be walking short distances. Coyotes (guides) abandon immigrants after taking their money. Three victims were discovered this past weekend.

The desert can be brutal. As one person put it, “it is no theme park.” Temperatures this time of year are well into the 100s for days. Imagine being in the desert under these conditions, abandoned and forgotten.

Another reason we need to seal the border before we do anything related to amnesty. We need to put the ruthless smugglers out of business. We need to save the lives of those who are dying needlessly. We need to provide safe passage for those who want to live the American dream.

John Fanning

Keystone and Arizona


Explore Related Articles

Trending in: Letters to the Editor

Trending Sitewide

The Summit Daily Updated Jul 3, 2013 06:23PM Published Jul 3, 2013 03:38PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.