1.13.2006

Hoover On Velasco: Ya Basta!

Yesterday's Tucson Citizen reports:
A federal magistrate has declined to dismiss human-smuggling charges against two volunteers of a humanitarian group.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco yesterday denied the request for dismissal by attorneys for Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss."

Defense attorneys and prosecutors have 10 days to submit written objections or recommendations. Those remarks will be forwarded to U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins, who will decide whether the volunteers with the group No More Deaths should be tried.

Defense attorneys argued that Sellz and Strauss were rendering medical aid and were not in violation of a law that forbids helping "in furtherance" of an illegal presence in the country.

Sellz and Strauss were driving three illegal immigrants last summer from the desert near Arivaca to Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson when they were arrested.

Velasco said rendering aid in the desert with few resources is different than transporting illegal immigrants to a metropolitan area and releasing them.

"The issue, therefore, is whether the illegal aliens treated at Southside Presbyterian Church and thereafter allowed to melt into Tucson, Arizona, have been assisted 'in furtherance' of their illegal entry," Velasco wrote. "The answer is yes."


Robin's not happy, especially because Velasco took at shot at Humane Borders from the bench, saying we construct "smuggling corridors."

"Judge Velasco needs to be reminded that everyday -- and some days, many times a day -- agents of the United States Border Patrol take migrants to the hospital and dump them out at the door. The bills for the care are not paid, and the migrants are allowed to "melt into Tucson." At least the NMD volunteers were not transferring costs to the rest of us. It seems like I remember that all authority for government rises from the authority that is inherent in the people. It certainly looks like the Border Patrol emulates the public on this one. And would this have happened like this in St. Louis? Where does the border begin and end? If the key phrase is "in furtherance", does that mean that the penalties get worse the closer you get to the geographical center of the US? Where is that? Ya Basta!"