Justice has prevailed in the cases of humanitarian aid workers Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss; according to the Arizona Daily Wildcat and the Tucson Citizen charges against them were dropped in Federal district court last Friday.
Sellz and Strauss had been charged with transporting and conspiring to transport illegal immigrants after attempting to rush three injured migrants to Tucson for medical care. According to the Tucson Citizen they had rejected a plea bargain that would have reduced the charges if they admitted to transporting the three with the hope that they would remain in the country.
That was certainly a good decision; the charges were dismissed because three years of tacit approval by the Border Patrol of humanitarian transport made mens rea almost impossible. Future humanitarian aid, however, may be a crime, contrary to No More Deaths’s slogan.
It’s a clear sign that border policy has descended to paranoia and absurdity when giving someone who hasn’t, to your knowledge, committed any crime against any person–someone who may merely not have the right visas–a lift to get medical care has the potential to result in a prison sentence. Next they’ll be expecting us to ask hitchhikers for papers.
With “enforcement first!” and “no amnesty!” the slogans of the day, you can count on Libertarians to buck the trend and support sound policy over emptyheaded rhetoric. There’s no sense in devoting more resources to enforcement of the immigration policies that created the problem of illegal immigration in the first place, and denying people without the right visas the chance of ever getting them is cruel and counterproductive.
If the immigration policies advocated by Libertarian candidates like David Nolan were enacted, humanitarian aid would not only not be a crime, it wouldn’t be necessary. Libertarians would move immigration back to the roads, where it belongs!1610