skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Mexican Migrant Seeks Retribution Against U.S. For Shooting

Evening Edition

Above: Roxana Popescu, a reporter with Investigative Newsource, talks to KPBS about her "Deadly Patrols" report.

Aired 7/18/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Roxana Popescu, Reporter, Investigative Newsource

Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director, Equality Alliance San Diego

Transcript

Nogales, Mexico – “They call me the soap opera guy.”

Jesus Castro Romo states his new nickname and gestures toward the small television in front of his bed. That’s where he spends most of his days, lying on his back in the bedroom he shares with his wife and youngest son, watching soap operas. Cartoons, too, and animal shows.

Special Feature Deadly Patrols

Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents are increasing even though illegal immigration and assaults against agents are down.

Ever since the Border Patrol agent shot him and the bullet damaged his spine, Castro has adjusted to a sedentary life. He used to drive a dump truck and do landscaping work. Now he walks with a cane.

“Now, I am more tranquil,” Castro says. “I think of my dad, my mom, my children, and everyone else. I am more conscientious about everything. Thinking. Here at home, locked up, I only have time to spend thinking and thinking.”

On this day, he moves to his covered patio that’s surrounded by chain link fence and drying laundry. He wants to share the story of his “terror” in the desert and his survival.

About one and a half years ago, Castro was trying to sneak into the United States through Arizona’s hilly backcountry when a Border Patrol agent on horseback spotted his group of about 12 travelers. They scattered. The agent zeroed in on Castro.

Castro claims the agent, Abel Canales, beat him, hurled insults at him and then shot him in the side before riding away. He says he waited in the desert for an hour and a half, bleeding through his clothes, thinking about his children and preparing himself for death.

An emergency crew arrived and airlifted him to University Medical Center in Tucson, where he had three operations. Once he was well enough to be released, he claims he was handcuffed to his wheelchair, was not allowed to bathe or use a restroom, and was denied access to a Mexican consular official.

Lawyers for the government said he acted in self defense, that Castro tried to throw a rock at him. Canales’s lawyer did not respond to requests for an interview, and a lawyer for the government have declined to comment.

In January, Castro sued the U.S. government, a gutsy move for a Mexican citizen who entered the country illegally. The lawsuit is about compensation for lost income, but it also amounts to a last resort effort in a system where Border Patrol agents are rarely prosecuted for violence against migrants, and where current immigration policy, the political climate and the authority of border enforcement agencies often combine to enable Border Patrol agents to have the last word.

A months-long collaborative investigation among nonprofit newsrooms in California, Texas and New York examined fatal confrontations with border agents and found that at least 14 civilians died, most shot, since Oct. 1, 2009. This despite declines in both illegal immigration and assaults on officers.

Statistics gathered from Customs and Border Protection and compiled by reporters show one fatality four years ago and two the following year. In each of the last two years there were five and four so far this fiscal year. The agency has declined to comment in these cases.

Border Patrol agents have been prosecuted for other crimes, such as bribery and corruption, in recent years. But trials are rare for on duty situations involving lethal or excessive force.

A grand jury in San Diego took testimony last week in the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas,who died after being beaten and tased in 2010 in San Ysidro. U.S. lawmakers called for an investigation of the agents’ actions after a new video of the incident was aired by the PBS national newsmagazine, Need to Know, in April.

The circumstances in cases reporters investigated for this project vary: Some of the dead were Mexican, others U.S. citizens, and at least one Central American. Some were trying to cross illegally into the U.S. for the first time – a misdemeanor; others were allegedly involved in more serious crimes, like trafficking drugs. But they all died as a result of violent altercations with Border Patrol agents.

Castro’s lawyer, William Risner, a straight-talking type with a crisp white mustache, is unabashed in saying Castro’s lawsuit is about money. But he also said it’s the only way to get justice.

Canales was suspended from the force without pay -- but not for his actions in this case. Last October he was indicted on allegations he took bribes to allow drugs and illegal immigrants to be smuggled into the U.S.

Even in cases where a video has captured an altercation at the border, there are generally distinct differences in what witnesses and law enforcement say happened. Castro’s case is no exception.


Castro lives in a neighborhood called Colonia Esperanza, which is one mile south of the border as the crow flies. You can’t see the United States from his patio, but a quick drive brings the border wall into sight. His house, like others on his sloping street, is a pale pastel that stands out against the rocky hillside. That’s where he lives with his two children -- the youngest named after him, Jesus -- and his wife. He has two grown children from a previous marriage. He’s already a grandfather.

Many of the men in this border city of about 210,000, directly south of Nogales, AZ, work in construction or other manual labor. Castro did, too. He started working in a “dompe,” or dump truck, when he was 14. Whenever work dried up, he would put his life in Mexico on hold, head to the U.S. for a job and then come home. He has been previously deported, but continued to return.

“I would go back and forth. I never tried to stay any longer,” he says. “My wife is here. I did not plan on abandoning her."

His wife, Ana Luisa Alarcon-Ramirez, is precise and articulate. It’s hot this morning, and she has pulled her long black hair into a twist. She finishes his sentences when he can’t find quite the right words, and she interrupts him to offer richer details about their life together. They are all sitting on the covered patio – Castro, his parents with their sad eyes, his fidgety children – as he tells his story.

Early on the morning of November 16, 2010, Castro crossed into the U.S., illegally, he concedes without flinching, to get to Tucson for a landscaping job.

The hills north of the border are dusty and dense with trees and shrubs. Temperatures are disastrously hot in the summer, but on that fall day they dropped to a chilly low of 32F.

His group was traveling north, a mile or two past the border, when he spotted “muchos migra,” many Border Patrol agents. The travelers ran back down a hill they had climbed, toward the creek they had crossed, and spread out. Castro says he imagined he would be safe, running back toward Mexico.

“We weren’t walking into the U.S. anymore, we were leaving. So we said, according to us, we were free,” he says.

“We all ran in different directions. Liliana, me and another guy ran ahead. Then Liliana went to the left, and the other guy went to the right, and I left towards the creek--and it was me that the officer chased.”

Castro claims the officer called him names and started grabbing and pushing him.

“Take it easy officer, why are you hitting me? Why are you pushing me with the horse?” Castro says he asked. The officer allegedly continued to hit him with his horse and his reins.

“It was like when bees are all over you and you got them crazy. This is how he was hitting me,” Castro says.

Castro says he asked the officer to stop. The agent then said, “I’m going to shoot you,” Castro says. And when he cowered to protect himself, the officer allegedly shot him. When he gets to this part, Castro uses his cane as an extension of his arm, drawing on the cement where each man was standing – a few feet apart.

“And when I fell he was pointing at my head … and he told me ‘I am going to kill you, you son of a bitch. Don’t move I am going to hit (shoot) you in the head,’ he told me.”

“His eyes looked like they were about to pop out, like if he was going to kill me. But at that moment I shouted ‘help’ and he turned and saw Liliana (a fellow traveler) on top of the hill. And he said, ‘Oh, mf.’ ”

Castro says the officer asked him where he was injured and said he’d go get help.

He pressed a white t-shirt from his backpack against the wound from the .40 caliber bullet and waited.

When help arrived, by helicopter, other Border Patrol agents returned with the officer, who accused Castro of hitting him in the head with a rock, Castro says.

“I told him, ‘Which rock?’ Never did I grab any rock.”

A government lawyer declined to let Canales be interviewed, but in court documents the government argued that force was necessary again the rock-thrower.

“Agent Canales acted justifiably in self-defense to protect himself against Plaintiff’s attempt to throw a large rock at him; moreover, Plaintiff, who was suspected of committing the felony of illegal entry into the United States, was attempting to avoid arrest and Agent Canales was justified in using physical force to effect a lawful arrest and prevent escape.”

Investigative reports obtained by the Nogales International, the paper that first reported the incident, suggest Castro may have been a coyote. Risner denied that claim, saying his client was merely entering the U.S. to work.

At the hospital in Tucson, doctors operated on Castro to remove the bullet. Fragments had penetrated his spine, his discharge records state. He underwent two more surgeries and was discharged more than two weeks later.

That’s when the second ordeal began, he says. For days he says he was mistreated by officers. He said he was handcuffed to his wheelchair, denied prescribed painkillers, transported between prison and a hospital in a freezing car while still bleeding, and not allowed to meet with the consular official who came to visit him.

“Then he handcuffed me again and I said, ‘Why do you handcuff me again if I can’t even walk, I can’t run.’ ‘No,’ he tells me, ‘it is safer this way.’ He shoved me into the patrol car handcuffed and all cut, bleeding,” he says.

In March 2011. a bus dropped Castro back in Mexico.

“They should pay for their mistake”

Around lunch time, Castro swallows a fistful of pills.

One is for sleeping. Most are for pain – pain in the neck, pain in the back, pain along the spinal cord, deeper pain, shifting pain, pain where the bullet sliced through his side, grazed his spine and landed in his stomach.

He keeps his pills in a clear plastic shoebox. If he followed the prescriptions, he’d be taking 14 pills a day, he says, but he has been cutting back to save money. The pain is constant, and it will probably get worse over time, creeping like a vine along nerves in his back and down his legs.

Castro says he decided to sue to right a wrong.

“They should pay for their mistake,” he says. “They should compensate me for their error.”

In an interview in his Tucson office, walls decorated with a Mayan print and a vintage movie poster -- the 1949 cold war propaganda classic “I married a Communist” -- Risner, Castro’s lawyer, explains his client’s goals.

“It’s about money,” he says. “That's it.”

Castro lost the ability to buy food for his family, send his kids to school. “He's been damaged economically,” Risner says.

“In addition, the Border Patrol could do a better job of checking their agents, training them better, actually do things to make them do a better job, where it's safer for the people they encounter. Those are possibilities. But, realistically it's just money.”

Castro tried working but almost crashed the dump truck. His has turned to his family for help. “One lends me money, then the other. That is how I go on,” he explains. He needs another operation that will cost 100,000 pesos, or around $8,000, he says.

His wife is now the family’s provider.

“He was in charge of everything and, well, now there is nothing,” she says. “I work, sell cakes, sell clothes in the flea market, clean houses, anything. I move around, bring things, take things up, get things down, everything, everything, everything.”

He used to see America as a place of opportunity, worth risks and sacrifices. Would he ever go back?

“No, not anymore. No more, for nothing. Americans do not like us. Even more so the officials (Border Patrol agents). The officials are racists who do not want us there.”

Tomorrow, we’ll walk you through what happens when a border agent fires a weapon and why prosecution is rare. With apprehensions down and deaths up, we’ll also tell you who is advocating for greater accountability.

Brad Racino contributed to the reporting and was the photojournalist on this project. Maureen Cavanaugh, Joanne Faryon, Patty Lane and Peggy Pico contributed to this report. Spanish translation by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

Comments

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 18, 2012 at 8:16 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Are we supposed to feel bad for him?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 18, 2012 at 9:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps we can file countersuit for crossing in the first place. Hopefully the hospital can recover the costs of the operations.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 18, 2012 at 9:38 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Fat chance of that. They can't even recover the costs from illegals that are still in this country enjoying the benefits our tax dollars pay for.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 18, 2012 at 9:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

If only there was a way for hospitals to profit off of the pain and suffering of illegal immigrants. What a perfect way to combine economic prosperity (the most important thing of all) with physical violence against border-crossers (the worst of all the criminals).

Let's figure out a way to make this happen! JeanMarc and benz72: what do you say, guys?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 18, 2012 at 10:28 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

( )

Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | July 18, 2012 at 10:31 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Nationwide this PRIVATE issue with the B. Patrol can be solved together with the debilitating expense of illegal migration itself.
The self-destroying PC religion in which the US slowly suffocates guarantee this nonsense won't stop until the state religion itself is ditched.
National security demands deterrence be established at national frontiers through the shooting of all invaders equally dead when caught.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 18, 2012 at 10:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

I don’t think hospitals profit from anyone’s pain or suffering, but rather by providing relief from it. If they are providing that relief without compensation then they will have difficulty continuing to operate. A model which relies on collection through lawsuit is probably too inefficient to function, though if it could operate it would presumably provide strong disincentive to the illegal crossers who, while not being the worst of criminals as you claim, are still wrong to be crossing. The central flaw I can see is that if they possessed enough to be worth recovering the transgressor is unlikely to get involved in an illegal crossing in the first place. I don’t see a sustainable model in this. Do you have a specific proposal in mind?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 18, 2012 at 10:45 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ilk, I don't think slavery is an appropriate solution. We are well shut of that model of an economy. Besides, if you are working towards a radical change in farming look into the development of automated pickers that are less resource intensive than human laborers. Construction is a little trickier, but there are still efficiencies to be gained by automation there. Machines are costly to develop and require regular maintenance but they are much more resilient and reliable. Why advocate for an 18th century solution vice a 21st century one?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Natalie Walsh'

Natalie Walsh, KPBS Staff | July 18, 2012 at 11:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

While we appreciate everyone's interest in commenting on this story, we ask that you abide by our Community Discussion Rules. In particular: "KPBS expects users to be civil and courteous even when in disagreement. Personal attacks, insults, profanity, hate speech or harassment based on class, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, race, sexual orientation or other offensive conduct will not be permitted." Thank you.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 18, 2012 at 11:26 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

( )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 18, 2012 at 12:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Since we're being cute about automated farming equipment, let's take it a step further. The Border Patrol and the "human scum" they apprehend are an important part of our regional economy. Don't shoot the job creators!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Natalie Walsh'

Natalie Walsh, KPBS Staff | July 18, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

IIk and DeLaRick,

Please refrain from personal attacks on individuals or groups. Referring to immigrants at "subhuman" and "human scum" violates our Community Discussion Rules.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 18, 2012 at 1:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ilk, I'm finding it difficult to distinguish your sarcasm from your real statements, but think a hospital going out of business is a more important concern than a guy who got shot while breaking the law. Do you have a different opinion?

Rail against efficiency if you like, but the purpose of a farm is not to employ farm workers. It is to provide food economically. Ned Ludd may appreciate the support, but we no longer dig road ditches by manual labor, nor employ rows full of clerks to manually fill ledgers, nor weave cloth by hand. I think this is progress (since it greatly increases the number of roads and the availability of information as well as decreasing the cost of clothing).

Back on topic, do you actually find fault with my statements or reasoning regarding the hospital?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 18, 2012 at 1:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

BOTHSCRIBBLE, what are you scribbling about? Makes little sense.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 18, 2012 at 1:41 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

@NATALIE, Delarick was just being sarcastic about some of our more aggressive posters.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 18, 2012 at 2:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Natalie, are you saying you have no problem with someone discussing a plan to enslave captured immigrants, just so long as they use nice words while doing so? I mean, read the first three comments on this story and tell me you can't read the subtext there. It's a story about an unarmed immigrant being shot and paralyzed, and the commenters' initial reaction is to question whether they should feel bad for him, and express concern for the hospital's ability to turn a profit. Whose definition of civility includes that kind of rhetoric?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 18, 2012 at 2:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ilk,

I am not sure if you are being sarcastic or not when you say you are in favor of replacing people with machines in the interest of the bottom dollar. I absolutely am in favor of this. What logical person wouldn't be? If a machine can do a job better, without errors, without injury, without the risk of lawsuits, with complete reliability, it would be foolish not to use it.

Shunning technology and sacrificing profits to put money in peoples pockets is not the right way to run a business. A business is not a charity, after all.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 18, 2012 at 3:14 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Natalie,

You must be new to KPBS' comment boards. If you visited more often, you'd know that I believe humans are good and institutions are corruptible. My comment was sarcastic (and is easily identifable as such when read in context).

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | July 18, 2012 at 5:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Is this alice in wonderland? Natalie has got it 180°backwards, is she new to internet blog comment sections? evidently offensive and dangerous bias and trolling is ok, but snark or joke posts are not, unbelievable!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'prellmech'

prellmech | July 19, 2012 at 8:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

( )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 19, 2012 at 9:37 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

prellyech, I suppose in your preducial twisted logic, because octogenarian Barbara Brand killed her roommate, ergo ALL octogenarians are murderers.

Oh, and here is an anglo man who fled to Mexico after murdering his parents:

Carlsbad man killed parents, fled to Mexico

www.swrnn.com/2011/.../carlsbad-man-killed-parents-fled-to-mexico...

Nov 3, 2011 – Dennis Gluck, 47, pleaded guilty last month to a pair of ... He fled to Mexico after killing his parents and was arrested in Ensenada a month later.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'prellmech'

prellmech | July 19, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

So what's your point? That Mexico is the Swiss bank of criminal fugitives? I would agree. My point is that too many Mexicans who entered the U.S. illegally commit violent crimes here and then flee to their homeland where they hide out and are never caught.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 19, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Use your common sense, being close to the border just means that it serves as an escape route. People on the lam have made runs for the border, both in real life and in fiction. Maybe they have some have family there where they can hide out or buy time. I, unlike you, can't get into their minds. The young man who killed his pregnant girlfriend was caught by Mexican police after about only a month. And that bad boy who murdered Diana Gonzalez (thank you DA Bonnie for not prosecuting when you should have) was eventually caught by the Tijuana municpal police after about a year. Or how about Miguel Morales wanted for a cold case murder and arrested last year??? Those are three recent attention-getting cases. i guess you FORGOT all about those. So actually, YES, they are eventually caught--if not immediatley. See, when you start using words like "too many" or "never" or throwing unsupported figures around, only proves you haven't done your homework. Besides, you DON'T EVEN know their citizenship status until it is later revealed. How many of these are US citizens--just because they were born of Mexican parents--you jump the gun as most hot-headed people on the Right.

PS: You conveniently skirt your fallacy when I brought up the 81 year old woman who killed her room mate.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'prellmech'

prellmech | July 19, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

( )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 19, 2012 at 1:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Then does that mean you "like it" when US citizens kill Mexican citizens, regardless of the circumstances?

And how many US citizens have fled to OTHER states after committing a crime? Your "argument" makes little sense.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 19, 2012 at 2:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

prellmech called someone a "hump," and then "soft-headed." These are personal attacks, a violation of the Community Discussion Rules. We can have the entirety of both posts deleted please? Thanks!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 19, 2012 at 4:05 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

prellmech,

Nowhere in the world does anyone think Mexico is a hostile neighbor towards the United States except in the minds of bigoted xenophobes. Comparing Mexico to Somalia or Sudan is not apt. Mexico is a member of the G20 and our 3rd largest trading partner. Look up economic rankings and Mexico's TRUE place in the world and be amazed.

Mexico is not full of criminals just like all Americans aren't obese porn-addled drug addicts.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 20, 2012 at 7:57 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

DLR, Is it not possible that even among trading partners, there are elements of the relationship that could be considered hostile?
We trade heavily with China yet are shifting military focus to the Pacific at least partly in response to an increasing Chinese force.

You are of course correct to point out that generalizing attributes to all members of any group is a dangerous basis for conclusions. I would ask you to reconsider the statement that one must be both bigoted and xenophobic to see any hostility between Mexican citizens and the United States, especially in a forum discussing the article “Mexican Migrant Seeks Retribution Against U.S. For Shooting”.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 20, 2012 at 10:39 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

DeLaRick, I guess prellemecha forgot the little fact that Mexico hosted the 2011 Pan American Games, an int'l event which would not be possible in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or the Sudan. And they are also a recepient in the Merida Plan to fight our holy proxy war on drugs.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'mtalavera'

mtalavera | July 20, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

JeanMarc,

Yes! It's inhumane to treat people like that no matter what the circumstances are. There is a root to this problem and by abusing, hurting, or killing people who cross the border does not solve the problem.

It makes matters worse. It makes the U.S look bad and we are supposed to be the example to follow for other countries. I would advise you to understand the root of the problem before passing judgement on people like him.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'prellmech'

prellmech | July 20, 2012 at 3:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

So where does one begin to address the idiotic claims and aspersions made here by the bigoted xenophiles? Maybe facts would be a good place to start! Mexico is a member of the G20 and our 3rd largest trading partner? Wow! It's also dead-last on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's list in tax collection as a percentage of GDP. It also boasts the richest man in the world (Carlos Slim Helu). Now just how did that happen?

Maybe we can agree on some basic facts (and personal observations) about the land in question.

‘…For months, no one would return my phone calls, nor take responsibility for the programs that the officials had accepted only a few months prior. It is a year now, and nothing at the federal level has been started, let alone completed.
This is no surprise. Mexico's upper class has demonstrated little interest in making things better even though its members are the ones getting kidnapped, forcing them to send their children to school with armed guards.

By James Cooper, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 27, 2006 - Cooper is a professor at California Western School of Law, where he directs Proyecto ACCESO.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

‘…But a review of serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration, and immigration from Mexico in particular. If people like me are going to respond effectively to anti-immigrant demagogues, we have to acknowledge those facts.
Modern America is a welfare state, even if our social safety net has more holes in it than it should — and low-skill immigrants threaten to unravel that safety net. Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don't pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive.'

By Paul Krugman, ‘North of the Border’, The New York Times, March 27, 2006

- - - - - - - - - - - -
‘FORBES magazine published the news this past summer that Mexico has 24 individuals (or families) who have accumulated assets worth more than a billion US dollars. Of all the countries in the world, only the United States, Germany, and Japan have more billionaires than Mexico.
Many consider the huge Mexican fortunes now being amassed as obscene in light of the general poverty of the country. With a tiny fraction of their wealth, the billionaires could be financially secure for generations.
Mexicans don't have to be bewildered about how to redistribute wealth. They just have to have the goodwill - or the political will - to do it.’

By Richard Seid. Richard Seid is a lawyer who has lived in Mexico for 22 years. / October 31, 1994

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 21, 2012 at 9:27 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

We'll probably never know the truth. Have border agents lied about their actions? Probably. Is the border patrol justified in shooting rock-throwers? Yes. I believe you can be killed with a rock.

Tensions over this issue run high. I believe it sad how the Mexican Gov gets a free ride, doing nothing to improve lives in beloved Mexico so that so many of their honorable citizens do not have to cross illegally into the U.S. I also know Mex Border agents in Southern Mexico commit horrible crimes against people entering illegally in Mexico and I don't know that they treat them FREE of charge in hospitals for medical treatment. I can recall the Tijuana police holding an American injured in an auto accident who needed to be airlifted to the hospital, died because the police would not release him until he paid a 10k bond.

That said, I don't think it's in anyone's interest for a mirror-interpretation of bad policies be implemented. But this guy shouldn't get a penny from us. Suits like this disgust many of us, where we pay money to make them go away. He got free medical treatment, which is more than he'd get in his own country, and he was committing a crime entering our country illegally, and who's to say Canales was unjustified in defending himself?

Too many questions to run over this and we'll spend enough on a grand jury deciding if this case should go to trial in first place. No matter what happens, I fear we all lose over this one.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 23, 2012 at 9 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

prellmech, Those look like some pretty tough problems for Mexico to solve. What part, if any, of the information you present is intended to justify an illegal border crossing?

Do you have any proposed solutions to the disparity you pointed out between services and payment and the financial threat that poses to our own social programs?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 23, 2012 at 11:47 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

This incident is akin to a thief breaking into a family's home, threatening the family with a deadly weapon, getting injured after the family acts in self-defense, and then suing the family for the injury.

Although perhaps the US Government should pay him to speak to other potential illegal aliens:

"He used to see America as a place of opportunity, worth risks and sacrifices. Would he ever go back?"

"No, not anymore. No more, for nothing."
=

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 23, 2012 at 12:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Carlos Slim made his money the same way Bill Gates did: through business acumen, political connections, the judicial system, and lots of luck. If Anglos are the only type of human which can produce billionaires, I guess Chinese and Indian billionaires are out of luck. (You probably don't like the sight of an African-American from the ghetto driving around in a nice car. "Now just how did that happen?") If you have to use Carlos Slim and 18- and 6-year-old quotes to help make your point, you are WAY out of your element and not even anecdotally qualified to participate in this discussion.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 23, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Benz,

One would expect more out of you besides posing questions no one is asking. Let me ask you:

1) The U.S. doesn't have a problem with economic disparity?
2) The U.S. doesn't have a problem with tax evasion?
3) The U.S. doesn't have a problem with the preferential treatment given to the rich over the poor by our police departments?

Mexico has the same problems. The entire world has the same problems. Singling out Mexico is not very constructive. Oh, by the way, our nation's borders must be enforced. No one is arguing against that.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 23, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

1) No, wealth disparity is not a problem; it is simply a comparison of two levels of worth.

2) Yes, the U.S has problems with tax evasion. I assume most of the world does.

3) I don't have any personal experiences with police treatment, but am willing to listen if you want to explain how or why you think preferential treatment is occurring. Do you think police fail to investigate, arrest or turn over for prosecution some people based on their wealth?

The point of my questioning was, in part, to prompt PM to tie his statements to the discussion in a more meaningful way. Posting a series of quotes without drawing a parallel to the current context isn’t always the most persuasive argument.

( | suggest removal )