The true title: Arizona ranch turned over to illegal aliens
This, however, completely infuriates me. I'm posting the entire article so no details are omitted.
Ariz. Ranch Turned Over to Border CrossersNethercott may in fact be a felon, and therefore in violation of laws against felons owning firearms. However, it's ridiculous that illegal aliens should be able to sue and make out big, when they not only violated the law but also violated the Sutton's private property rights.
An Arizona ranch once owned by a member of an armed group accused of terrorizing illegal immigrants has been turned over to two of the very people the owner had tried keep out of the country.
The land transfer is being done to satisfy a judgment against Casey Nethercott, a member of a self-styled border-watch group who is serving a five-year prison term for firearms possession.
Morris Dees Jr., chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represented the immigrants, said he hoped the ruling would be a cautionary tale to anyone considering hostile measures against border crossers.
"When we got into this case, ranchers all along the border were allowing these types to come on their property," said Dees. "Now, they're very leery of it, especially when they see someone loosing their ranch because of it."
The ruling comes as the governors of Arizona and New Mexico declare states of emergency in their border counties, moves designed to free up money for enforcement while drawing more national attention to the problems of illegal immigration.
Nethercott was a member of the group Ranch Rescue, which works to protect private property along the southern U.S. border. In March 2003 he was accused of pistol-whipping Edwin Alfredo Mancia Gonzales, 26, at a Hebbronville, Texas, ranch near the Mexico border.
A jury deadlocked on the assault charge but convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Mancia and another immigrant traveling with him from El Salvador, Fatima del Socorro Leiva Medina, filed a civil lawsuit last year saying they were harmed while being held by Ranch Rescue members.
Named in the suit were Nethercott; Jack Foote, the founder of Ranch Rescue; and the owners of the Hebbronville ranch, Joe and Betty Sutton. The Suttons settled for $100,000. Nethercott and Foote did not defend themselves, and a Texas judge issued default judgments in April of $850,000 against Nethercott and $500,000 against Foote.
Nethercott transferred ownership of his 70-acre Douglas ranch to his sister. But the sister gave up ownership to settle the judgment when challenged by the immigrants' lawyers.
The transfer of the ranch outraged border-watch groups.
"If the federal government was doing its job, ranchers would not be living in fear," said Chris Simcox, President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp., a group that watches for illegal immigrant crossings and reports them to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Simcox noted that the Minutemen have a policy against touching the migrants and use video to document their patrols.
A message left for Nethercott's family and his attorney were not returned Friday.
Dees said his clients plan to eventually sell the property, which Nethercott bought for $120,000, but may allow humanitarian border groups offering aid to immigrants to use it for now.
Mancia and Leiva declined through Dees to speak to the media.
Yes, property rights. Where were the illegal aliens allegedly assaulted? Apparently on the Sutton's ranch (otherwise they wouldn't have been held liable). The illegals were therefore trespassing, probably like many thousands before them. We shouldn't be surprised that the Suttons, outraged at the repeated violations of their land, invited Nethercott and Foote to act as agents in defending the ranch from illegal alien incursions?
Nethercott and Foote did not put up a defense, which puzzles me. Still, that should not have deterred the judge from finding the illegal aliens' claims to be without merit. They were in violation of federal immigration law and knowingly trespassing on private property. It is sheer hypocrisy that they flagrantly defied immigration law yet expect the letter of the law to be applied to others, let alone win a huge judgment. Evidently they won't be deported, though it's obvious they're in the U.S. illegally, and until they can sell the ranch they'll use it to help other illegal aliens.
I'm not the least bit surprised that the Southern Poverty Law Center is behind this. Led by Morris Dees, it sees a "white supremacist conspiracy" behind every tree. (Ironically Dees has been accused of racism.) Are you the least bit "right-wing"? The SPLC will call you a racist, and I say this as more of a libertarian than a conservative.
The SPLC demands "tolerance" and "civil rights," yet it won't defend people's rights to their own private property. That's the difference between "civil rights" and "unalienable rights." The former is manufactured by government and the statist-oriented. The latter, as Jefferson and Bastiat explained, is what we are endowed with by God: the rights to life, liberty and property.