FEBRUARY 09, 2009
A federal courtroom in Arizona is hosting a trial this month in which 16 illegal immigrants are suing an American rancher for violating their civil rights when he intercepted them on his property along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The illegal immigrants were detained by the Douglas rancher (Roger Barnett) as they utilized his 22,000-acre property in southeastern Arizona to enter the U.S. illegally from their native Mexico.
For more than a decade large groups of illegal immigrants have entered the country via Barnett’s sprawling property, regularly destroying his land, killing his livestock and breaking into his home. To protect his family, he regularly detains the intruders and turns them over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
This particular group of illegal aliens (11 men and five women) is seeking $32 million in punitive damages for being deprived of rights “granted under the United States Constitution” during their 2004 journey north.
In a 17-page lawsuit the illegal aliens claim that Barnett falsely imprisoned them and inflicted emotional distress by holding them at gunpoint on his property. The rancher was motivated by racial discrimination, according to the complaint, which accuses Barnett of using profanity and threatening the trespassers with his aggressive dog.
The illegal aliens are represented by a well-funded, radical open-borders group— Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)—that refers to the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement effort as racist and xenophobic.
MALDEF, which claims there is no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, has sued a state to obtain free public education for illegal aliens and various public colleges nationwide for denying illegal immigrants admission. After the 2001 terrorist attacks the group led a large-scale protest campaign against a federal crackdown on airport workers with immigration violations, claiming it harmed the “civil rights of Latinos.”
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