May 25, 2010

Migration Migraine

Hatched by Dafydd

Ever since I was about seventeen years old, I have believed that property ownership -- or monopoly control of land, for the purists who insist land, being non-anthropogenic, cannot be "owned" -- is the most fundamental civil right we have. (From here on, I ignore the purists and talk about land "ownership" without the wishy-washy quotation marks.) migraine

Correspondingly, the vigorous defense of land ownership should be given the widest latitude in the courts: A man's home is his castle, and his land is his fiefdom; or that's the way it oughta be. There is nothing more terrifying to modern man than to be turned out of his own property, especially if he owns it (or so he believes, not understanding the true goal of the Left).

So take a long, cold look at what passes for justice in the Epoch of Obamunism:

An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border....

The lawsuit is based on a March 7, 2004, incident in a dry wash on the 22,000-acre ranch, when he approached a group of illegal immigrants while carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog.

Attorneys for the immigrants - five women and 11 men who were trying to cross illegally into the United States - have accused [Roger Barnett] of holding the group captive at gunpoint, threatening to turn his dog loose on them and saying he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

Let's rephrase that last sentence, using the actual legal term for what Barnett did: "Attorneys for the [illegal] immigrants... have accused Mr. Barnett of [effecting a citizen's arrest of the trespassing illegals]."

If a person enters onto my property unlawfully (as has happened) and threatens me or my property, I believe with great passion that I have the right to make a citizen's arrest and hold him until the police arrive (which I have done). I believe I have the right to do so with a gun in my hand (as I had), since one likely response to trying to do so unarmed would be for the miscreant to attack me.

But I guess that right doesn't exist in Arizona, or so the federal judge appears to believe:

In the lawsuit, MALDEF [the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the illegals] said Mr. Barnett approached the group as the immigrants moved through his property, and that he was carrying a pistol and threatening them in English and Spanish. At one point, it said, Mr. Barnett's dog barked at several of the women and he yelled at them in Spanish, "My dog is hungry and he's hungry for buttocks."

The lawsuit said he then called his wife and two Border Patrol agents arrived at the site. It also said Mr. Barnett acknowledged that he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

In March, U.S. District Judge John Roll rejected a motion by Mr. Barnett to have the charges dropped, ruling there was sufficient evidence to allow the matter to be presented to a jury. Mr. Barnett's attorney, David Hardy, had argued that illegal immigrants did not have the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Small wonder that Arizona enacted the law that so infuriated la Rive Gauche!

This lawsuit, being taken so seriously by one and all, should shock the conscience of any real American. After all, we're not talking about some teenaged beach bum cutting across a corner of your lawn to get to the surf. Illegal aliens frequently trash the land, destroy buildings, steal property, slaughter livestock, wreck water tanks seeking a drink (Barnett actually installed a faucet on his 8,000 gallon tank so that they wouldn't keep damaging it), threaten family members, and even kill owners -- and that's when the illegals aren't drug dealers or terrorist infiltrators. How can any legislator in his right mind pass a law making it illegal to effect a citizen's arrest of such potentially deadly trespassers?

Ah, but there's the rub: "in his right mind." As President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa of Mexico recently reminded us, many on the Left believe that people have the "civil right" to migrate.

But if migrants have the right to migrate, the logical conclusion is that those across whose land they exercise that putative right have no corresponding right to stop them. This belief completely upends the great liberty and virtue of property ownership; it tells citizens they have no right to defend their property and vests property rights instead in those who don't own any. It's the clearest oracle yet that Obamunism equals socialism, Michael Medved notwithstanding.

Illegal aliens cannot possibly have a "civil right" to cross a rancher's land to enter the country, just as raging thugs of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) can have no "civil right" to swarm like locusts onto the private property of a randomly selected Bank of America executive to "protest" that bank foreclosing against defaulted mortgages. In both cases, mobs of leftist looters use the pretense of "populism" to institutionalize theft -- theft of land via migration and squatting, or theft via involuntary debt "forgiveness" in the name of poverty. America is creeping noticibly towards being a kleptocracy, like Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

(Tellingly, as reported by Big Government, the SEIU is itself deep in debt to Bank of America; no conflict of interest there!)

Private property has been under seige for decades, perhaps centuries, if we include such messes as the French Revolution. But for the first time in my lifetime, we now have a president who appears to share the economic views of Venezuela President Oogo Chavez: That everything really belongs to the sovereign, who can reclaim his royal property (that is, the entire country and every jot and tittle of its GDP) whenever he chooses. We live in parlous times; I cannot predict which side will win.

In a forthcoming post, we'll examine the rise of debt-theft since passage of the Community Reinvestment Act... and how that is now driving a government fiscal spending crisis -- which itself triggers a world-wide revolution against government overspending. Action, reaction. Where is the synthesis? Will property rights survive this century?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 25, 2010, at the time of 12:44 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn

Until Judges like Roll are held accountable for manufacturing law from the bench, we will continue to approach a judicial dictatorship. He should be impeached for violating his oath of office.

The above hissed in response by: Ken Hahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 25, 2010 8:18 PM

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