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.