I just watched the segment on 60 Minutes entitled Dying To Get In, a piece on illegal immigration that focused on the number of illegal aliens dying in the desert increasing. I mentioned that Tom Tancredo would be on it. My first thought was "of course the number's increasing, the numbers of people coming here is at a record high in American history".
They started the segment talking about an illegal alien who was lost in the desert for 7 days and the efforts made to find him. There was a helicopter search and ground searches on off road vehicles. They interviews a medical examiner who said he hadn't seen this many people dying in the desert since he'd been on the job and that they had to hire a refrigerated truck for a $1000 a week to house some of the bodies because they had ran out of space. No doubt citizens of our country who have died got put in there while the revered illegal alien got top spot in the refrigerated vaults in the morgue.
Then they went on to talk about how only 5% of the border is fenced and that it has decreased the mass mobs of 500 illegals running across the border at the same time. Going in numbers they had a better shot at getting in. Putting a border fence up stopped that. Yep, it worked!
60 Minutes immediately went on to tear that apart by finding a whiny guy who says that it has forced the illegals to cross the desert since they can't get by the fence. They conclude that's why so many are dying. Well by that logic wouldn't it make more sense to fence the other 95%? I mean if the 5% has proved to stop them then filling it in should work as well. If these people were really concerned about these people dying in the desert they'd put the fence up to stop them from getting into the desert in the first place.
They then went into a discussion on how cracking down on the meat packing industry years ago was successful, but then the government stepped in and told the group to stop because it was hurting certain businesses. My take on it is that if a business cannot succeed without having to cheat by hiring illegal workers and bypassing paying into the tax system through payroll taxes, workers comp and health insurance, then those companies don't need to be in business. Some other business can come along and do it successfully, legally and compete on a level playing field rather than a greedy "profit at all costs, even breaking the law" outlook.
They had a short two-parter from Tom Tancredo. 60 Minutes worked really hard at stacking the audience against Tom Tancredo before he even spoke with all their "humanitarian" and "good for communities" bullshit arguments in favor of illegal aliens. They also stacked it against him by saying "we've spent too much already" before they interviewed him.
Tom Tancredo went on to say that we need to "pay whatever it takes because that's the job of government, to defend its borders" (see Video (.wmv) of this). He said we need to fence the whole damn thing and I agree. Hell even 60 Minutes, which came off as a friend to illegal aliens, admitted it by reporting that it worked with the border fence portions already up. Tom Tancredo said that it's a question of national security and that a porous border is too much of a threat in these terrorist times. Not every person coming across that border is just coming here to work.
So what of the illegal alien lost in the desert? He died. They found him, wrapped him in a nice white sheet and threw him on the back of their quad. Of course 60 minutes couldn't let it end there they had to go to Mexico and interview the family that was crying. He was a nice kid and only wanted to go to work in America so that we could afford a new tin roof for our house. So this poor family managed to cobble together $300 to get him across the border. I'm thinking a tin roof in Mexico probably costs a lot less than $300 bucks, but that's just me.
The piece was entirely too short and didn't cover enough of the issues, which I regularly do in my Immigration archives. The title itself should tell you that 60 Minutes wants you to feel sorry for the illegal aliens dying in the desert and not really pay attention to stopping it other than just letting them in. I got the feeling during the border fence portions of the show that they wanted to just come out and say that we should rip down the 5% of the fence that's workingand go back to the 500 illegal aliens running at the border.
Look, I may sound heartless or like an asshole, but I really have no pity. They know the risks. They know it's illegal. If you die in the desert, it's your own fault. We as Americans have to do what it takes to not only deter, but to stop illegal aliens from getting into the desert in the first place. Put up a huge fence and monitor it. Then you won't have some families losing their boys.
Until we do stop them though I say "Let them die in the desert" and I mean it.
Update: (Dec 12 2:15PM EST)
Video (.wmv) of TomTancredo's can be found at Tom Tancredo's Congressional webpage.
CBS News has an edited transcript of the story
Lonewacko notes all the things they left out of the story.
American Patrol offers a point by point rebuttal of the transcript.
Hey, you'll probably never see this comment, but just want you to know that I'm the person who filmed the story of the search and the family for whom you have no pity.
I spent several months with that family spread over three years, and you are very shortsighted in your appraisal of their reality. And the fact that you just say "so what" to Abran's death is truly unnerving to me.
I've spent five years on and off filming along the border with both border patrol agents and migrants. I have seen both sides and made friends in both worlds. One thing I can assure you is that "they" do not know the risks, despite what you might think. I suspect that your logic is pragmatic at best, a convenient way to rationalize a tragic death (one among many).
I for my part am disturbed that five years on since the story aired, this story is still not reported by the mainstream media. I'm continuing to work to make people aware of deaths on the border.
I feel lucky to have been born in the US, and try not to take that for granted. I've lived a comfortable life, received a good education, enjoyed many freedoms. And at age 36 I've already lived twice as long as Abrán Gonzalez, who I can assure you just wanted to give his mom, Benita, a better roof to live under.
Posted by: Thomas Peyton on July 27, 2010 10:21 AM