The United States Border Patrol has rescued a group of 57 Central American migrants who were abandoned by cartel smugglers in Arizona Friday. The large group included men, women and children – with one being an underage pregnant girl. The majority of those rescued were children, who had been left for dead in the scorching 108-degree heat.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection., the Tuscon Sector Border Patrol managed to help the group to safety. CBP noted: “Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.”
Some 36 of those rescued were minors, with one being as young as just one year old. The stranded and dangerously dehydrated illegal immigrants originated from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The pregnant female was administered intravenous fluids by Border Patrol EMT’s and immediately transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
“Regardless of the unscrupulous and ill regard for human life attitude by smugglers, Border Patrol Agents work tirelessly to ensure not only the safety and security of our nation but also the safety of those who they come in contact with,” the border patrol continued in a statement on its website. “Due to the extreme heat, Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials warn that summer is an especially dangerous time to be stranded in Arizona’s desert. Anyone in need of emergency assistance should call 9-1-1 immediately as dehydration can be deadly if not treated.”
The officials also warned of the treacherous terrain faced by those who choose to risk their lives in order to gain access into the United States.
“Arizona’s desert is a merciless environment for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather,” the statement read. “The Border Patrol advises anyone in distress to call 9-1-1 or activate a rescue beacon as soon as possible.”
President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has been left in tatters over the past week. After signing an executive order ensuring that families are not separated when caught by border agents, US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan ordered a temporary hold on criminal action against those who enter America illegally. This goes against a key promise of the President since his campaign days – he has repeatedly promised supporteres that a fortified border wall would be built, and that illegals would face immediate proseuction.
Despite railing against the “catch and release” policy enforced by the border agency, Trump has had to settle for this once again, though he continues to state that his immigration policy is “zero tolerance.”
“We can work on a plan where adults who bring kids across, who violate our laws, who risk their lives at the border could be prosecuted without an extended separation from their children. We’re looking at how to implement that now,” McAleenan said, according to the Evening Standard.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said the administration was concerned about halting the prosecution of illegals. “We’re going to run out of space,” she said in a press briefing Monday, as reported by the Independent. “We’re going to run out of resources to keep people together.”
“People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally. Children brought back to their country,” Trump tweeted yesterday. “If this is done, illegal immigration will be stopped in it’s tracks – and at very little, by comparison, cost. This is the only real answer – and we must continue to BUILD THE WALL!”
Many media outlets have cited Trump’s Sunday tweet in which he declared that those caught crossing the border illegally should be sent back “immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases” some legal scholars argue this would violate their right to due process.
In the 1982 Supreme Court case Plyler vs. Doe, the court ruled that “Aliens, even aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful, have long been recognized as ‘persons’ guaranteed due process of law by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Also, in 1953, the Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding Supreme Court case resulted in an 8-1 decision that a permanent resident of the United States could not be deported without a hearing under the constitutional right to due process. “Not even Congress may expel him without allowing him a fair opportunity to be heard,” the court wrote.
But the Press Secretary doesn’t think much of the “due process violation” argument, stating that “just because you don’t see a judge, doesn’t mean you are not receiving due process.”
Others were highly concerned at Trump’s suggestion that mass deportations could be enforced and criminal proceedings expedited without the due process of a fair hearing.
“I understand the need to enforce our borders, but there are ways to do that without depriving people of basic rights,” Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden told TIME. “We could increase the number of judges to hear these cases, we could allow people to have ankle bracelets to make them come back and attend their hearings. But if you’re going to start deporting people who have a claim that they’re here lawfully, without a hearing, without a chance to present that claim to a judge, that really puts people’s fundamental rights at risk.”