The Klutz Factor in Illegal Immigration: The Dehydrated Flood Victim

By David North on August 5, 2010

I feel sorry for the guy, and am pleased that the Border Patrol rescued him from the flooded Rio Grande, but the news story reminded me of the seldom-remarked-upon klutz factor in illegal immigration.

According to the account he was stranded in a tree while trying to cross the flooded river and had been there for five days. The BP spokesperson said that he was "severely dehydrated."

A dehydrated flood victim? The water in the Rio Grande is pretty unattractive, I am sure, but it is not sea water; if you are really thirsty you can drink it. Or maybe he was like an inept cat that can climb the tree but cannot get back down again.

If one reads the rich panoply of immigration news that CIS gathers daily, time and again there are accounts of illegal aliens who are apprehended after creating trouble for themselves, often stupidly.

Here are a couple of examples: one of the open borders websites is urging you to fax Secretary Napolitano on behalf of an illegal alien who is, it says, about to be deported. We are told that Marien Moreno, a Mexican national, is a high school graduate, is married to a green card holder, and is the mother of two U.S. citizen children aged 10 months and three years. The couple presumably have been married for several years and during that time the husband – if he really loved her – could have filed for immigration papers for her. Had he really been on the ball he would, as soon as he was able, have filed for his own naturalization, which would have helped the immigration prospects of Marien considerably.

Further, there is something missing in this story. Why the government, which has oodles of discretion in these matters, would deport a wife of a green card holder and the mother of two small U.S. citizen children is beyond me, unless she did something remarkable, like selling drugs or shooting a police officer.

But none of these factors are discussed; there is just a plea: "Help us reach our goal of 5,000 faxes to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to stop Marien's deportation."

Similarly, I did a blog last month about another illegal from Mexico; in this case she drove badly enough to attract police and then ICE attention, and was slated to be deported despite the fact that she had a U.S. citizen spouse. She should have driven more carefully, and he should have been more dutiful about getting her immigration papers in order.

It may not be charitable to say so, but the klutz factor keeps getting illegal aliens in trouble, sometimes life-or-death trouble. Now most of the time the Rio Grande downstream from El Paso is little more than a polluted brook. Why cross it in a flood when it will surely go down in a few days? Why try it all if you cannot swim? And many Mexican nationals cannot swim, or so I was told along the border many years ago.

Similarly, it is, of course, tragic that substantial numbers of illegals die of heat in the Arizona desert this time of year. But if you want to get into the U.S. and that is the only way you know how, why not try it during a cooler time of year?

It is a heartless view, I know, but the klutz factor is one of the reasons why illegal immigrants are not more numerous than they are.

Let's look at the flip side of the coin. Suppose several hundred thousand un-klutzy EWIs from South of the border, every year, filed for asylum status with USCIS, overwhelming a system that struggles to handle 40-50,000 applications a year.

All of the applicants could say that, with some justice, that they were fleeing a country in which there was a murderous civil war going on between drug gangs, making life unsafe for all. Virtually none of the cases would be resolved after the passage of 150 days, and then these hundreds of thousands of asylum applicants could file for, and get, employment authorization, under the current rules as seen on page 6 of this USCIS form.

Such an outbreak of illegal alien competence would devastate the system!