A Woman Died Trying To Scale A Border Fence Into Arizona: Who Is Responsible?

A woman using climbing apparatus became ensnared upside down as she tried to cross illegally into the United States from Mexico by going over a 30-foot-high steel border fence in southeastern Arizona last week. By the time authorities found her, she had died.

She was responsible. 100%

The presence of a fence or wall at a border says, “Stay Out!” Anyone who tries to climb or scale the fence is voluntarily attempting to break the law. The woman’s death is a tragedy, but it was a self-activated tragedy. Perhaps, if one were determined to spread blame around, one could hold the illegal immigration activists partially responsible. They promote the message that wrong is right, and that breaking U.S. laws because a foreign citizen wants to do so isn’t wrongdoing,  but noble, or fair, or “a matter of the heart,” as Jeb Bush so fatuously put it. Joe Biden and his administration similarly encouraged the woman by signalling lax immigration law enforcement policies. Still, there is the fence. A few years ago in Northern Virginia, a man attempting to burglarize a home fell off a ladder and died. Nobody suggested that his death was anything but his own fault: the cause was his own decision to break the law. The woman’s death last week was no different. Both were breaching property with the intent to steal. Mark J. Dannels, the Cochise County sheriff, said in a misguided and useless statement.

“These types of incidents are not political, they are humanitarian realities that someone has lost a loved one in a senseless tragedy. We have to do better in finding solutions to the challenges facing our border, and we have to do it for the right reasons. Regardless of opinions, it is the facts that should direct our progress and we will keep working towards a shared goal of border safety and security.”

What is all that supposed to mean? Should border fences and walls be safe to climb? In what respect was the death more senseless than any other accident where someone takes an unnecessary risk? “We have to find solutions” is just another “Do something!” response. In this case, we have a law and a fence that very clearly is intended to prevent violations of the law. The “challenge” is convincing people that they shouldn’t try to violate them anyway.

According to the International Organization for Migration, which documents such deaths, at least 650 people died last year attempting to cross the border. Every one of them, except for the children, were responsible.

15 thoughts on “A Woman Died Trying To Scale A Border Fence Into Arizona: Who Is Responsible?

        • And this guy is a county sheriff. As we have all been told repeatedly by our betters on the federal bench at the behest of our betters in the federal capitol area, immigration is a federal problem to be dealt with exclusively at the federal level. Local governments are supposed to simply butt out. This guy has no role to play in this problem (and perhaps it’s not a problem at all, it’s probably a policy of this administration to let in as many illegal immigrants as possible as quickly as possible. He’s just trying to minimize the crime in his county resulting from being over-run by illegal immigration and smuggling, both human and otherwise.

          • He might as well be speaking about the problem as a private citizen. The problem needs to be solved at the congressional and executive level, not by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.

          • a shared goal of border safety and security

            Does that sound like he’s calling the woman’s conduct admirable or otherwise excusing it? I think he’s calling for vigorous enforcement by the federal authorities of an effective immigration policy. He’s on the record calling for erection of more fencing. Which fencing has been constructed and paid for and can be viewed by interested taxpayers sitting in a steel fabricator’s yard between Coolidge and Eloy, Arizona.

            • What’s “safe” doing in there? I don’t care if the border is lined with mines, traps, broken glass, rattle snakes,scorpions and alligators. Why should it be safe for border-jumpers? His comments were so mealy-mouthed and non-committal that they could be interpreted to mean anything, including a call for ladders at the fences and mattresses on the other side to ensure a safe landing. How about a sign that states, without bluffing, “Do not attempt to illegally cross the border! If you do, you’ll die, and if you die, it is your own damn fault.”

  1. If we accept that every death during an illegal border crossing is 100 percent the responsibility of the individual crosser, then we have to accept, logically, that the substantial increase in the number of such deaths in the last year and a half likewise is 100 percent the responsibility of the crossers.
    If, on the other hand, we ascribe responsibility for an increase in attempted illegal crossings to some groups or individuals, then we also have to ascribe some responsibility to those same groups or individuals for the inevitable increase in deaths.
    I’m in the second camp and believe those who encourage illegal immigration bear some responsibility for the consequences of that, including some responsibility for the deaths that occur.
    The sheriff was not especially eloquent, but he’s right that we (as a nation) have to do better. A greatly expanded legal immigration program with the assets to support it would be a step in the right direction.

      • My sense is that if we had open borders, and evevryone was allowed to enter regardless of status, there would be no illegal immigration, just inevitable migration. It is unrealistic and unworkable.


      • I won’t subscribe to “necessarily” but if you increased the number accepted through normal channels, and made the system a little less convoluted, time consuming, and difficult, you SHoULD see the people who want to cross decide it’s better to wait due to risk/reward estimates, ignoring any media malfeasance on how it’s reported. You’d also want to make the cost of an illegal crossing more severe by eliminating any amnesty or forgiveness. Of course, the open borders crowd would quite likely loudly give potential immigrants the impression that we’re accepting all comers, negating the benefits overall.

  2. In another story a teenager traveling with other teen relatives from Central America to reunite with his mother who abandoned them two years ago drowned crossing the Rio Grande. Upon learning of her son’s death the mother sobbingly cried out, “They killed him!.” I expressed my condolences on the Facebook article but asked “Who are they?” HE downed while HE chose to illegally cross the natural border. I was then excoriated by Facebook fools for my lack of empathy while my faith was questioned.

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