16 illegals sue Arizona rancher
Claim violation of rights as they crossed his land
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.
Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.
His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as “the avenue of choice” for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.
Trial continues Monday in the federal lawsuit, which seeks $32 million in actual and punitive damages for civil rights violations, the infliction of emotional distress and other crimes. Also named are Mr. Barnett’s wife, Barbara, his brother, Donald, and Larry Dever, sheriff in Cochise County, Ariz., where the Barnetts live. The civil trial is expected to continue until Friday.
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 Mr. 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.
The immigrants are represented at trial by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which also charged that Sheriff Dever did nothing to prevent Mr. Barnett from holding their clients at “gunpoint, yelling obscenities at them and kicking one of the women.”
In the lawsuit, MALDEF 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.
Mr. Barnett told The Washington Times in a 2002 interview that he began rounding up illegal immigrants after they started to vandalize his property, northeast of Douglas along Arizona Highway 80. He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.
Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.
Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch´s established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil – which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their “clients” to keep them running.
He said he carried a pistol during his searches for the immigrants and had a rifle in his truck “for protection” against immigrant and drug smugglers, who often are armed.
Roger Barnett said he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.
A former Cochise County sheriff´s deputy who later was successful in the towing and propane business, Mr. Barnett spent $30,000 on electronic sensors, which he has hidden along established trails on his ranch. He searches the ranch for illegal immigrants in a pickup truck, dressed in a green shirt and camouflage hat, with his handgun and rifle, high-powered binoculars and a walkie-talkie.
His sprawling ranch became an illegal-immigration highway when the Border Patrol diverted its attention to several border towns in an effort to take control of the established ports of entry. That effort moved the illegal immigrants to the remote areas of the border, including the Cross Rail Ranch.
“This is my land. I´m the victim here,” Mr. Barnett said. “When someone´s home and loved ones are in jeopardy and the government seemingly can´t do anything about it, I feel justified in taking matters into my own hands. And I always watch my back.”
GUESS WHO IS FUNDING THE ILLEGALS?
Foundations Bankrolling Amnesty Advocates, Sean Lengell, Wshington Times
June 6, 2007
Foundations bankrolling advocates for aliens By Sean Lengell THE WASHINGTON TIMES Published June 6, 2007
Wealthy philanthropic foundations are helping bankroll the pro-immigration movement, while groups advocating for tighter control of U.S. borders say they take a more grass-roots approach to raising money. The Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and Democratic activist George Soros are among the liberal funders that have donated millions of dollars to pro-immigration groups, as the Senate continues its debate on a contentious bill that would overhaul the nation’s immigration policy.
Three of the nation’s biggest and most influential pro-immigration groups — the National Immigration Forum, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) — collectively received more than $3.25 million from Ford Foundation since 2005.
The three advocacy groups generally support the proposed Senate bill which would give many of the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. a path to citizenship.
The bill also would allow aliens here to bring close family members into the country. Pro-immigration nonprofit groups say they’re hardly awash in cash compared to organizations lobbying on other contentious issues, such as abortion, the environment and tort reform. “To me, it’s remarkable how little money goes into immigration reform on both sides of the issue,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “It’s Lilliputian.” Mr. Sharry said groups on both sides of the immigration issue can rightfully be considered “grass-roots” outfits. “We have a staff of only 10 people,” Mr. Sharry said of his group, which supports allowing aliens a path to legal residency or citizenship. “These groups on all sides of the debate are small, intense and highly informed.”
But groups supporting stronger immigration policy and tighter border control say they rely more on small donations from individuals than large foundations.
NumbersUSA, which says it has 366,000 members, saw its membership grow 50 percent since Jan. 1 and 18 percent in May, spokeswoman Caroline Espinosa said. Two-thirds of the group’s financial support comes from private people, with the average donation being $40. “Contrary to what might be popular belief is that the grass-roots aspect is more on our side than the [pro-immigration] side,” Mrs. Espinosa said. “They have more of these organized, established types of groups funding them and driving their activism.” John Tanton, a retired small-town Michigan ophthalmologist who helped organize Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies, says money alone won’t win the immigration debate. “Money can be a help, but it also can be a hindrance,” he said. “If you don’t have to go out and meet the public and get shouted at and get direct-mail surveys rejected, then you won’t know about the pulse of the public. “We’ve had our share of major supporters, but we’ve had to rely on nickel-and-dime support,” Mr. Tanton said.
A complete list of funders isn’t available, as these lobby groups are not legally required to report their funding sources.
But many major philanthropic institutions make at least part of their donor lists public, showing a strong pro-immigration bias in their donating. The Open Society Institute, run by Mr. Soros, has given $825,000 from 2002 to 2004 to the National Immigration Forum.
Mr. Soros, who donated large sums of money in a failed effort to defeat President Bush’s bid for re-election in 2004, also has donated $525,000 to NCLR and $325,000 to MALDEF during the same period.
The Ford Foundation, with assets of more than $9 billion, is known to favor liberal causes. The foundation was significantly criticized in 2003 after it gave millions of dollars worth of grants to Palestinian nonprofit groups that later were accused of conducting terrorist activities.
The Carnegie Corporation has contributed almost $7 million collectively to the National Immigration Forum, MALDEF and NCLR since 1994.
NCLR also collected almost $2.2 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 2003 to 2005 and $425,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation since 2004.
The Rockefeller Foundation since 2004 also have given more than $1 million to MALDEF and $300,000 to the National Immigration Law Center. About one-third of NCLR’s budget comes from foundations, NCLR spokeswoman Lisa Navarrete said, noting, however, that her group cannot use money from tax-exempt foundations for political purposes, but rather uses it to support its other functions. “Foundation money is used strictly for policy purposes and research work,” she said. “We keep a strict line on that.” Less than 2 percent of NCLR’s budget is used to promote its immigration agenda, she added. “We’re a Latino advocacy group. What we do is much broader than just immigration,” Ms. Navarrete said.
Advocacy groups on the other side of the immigration debate are not without some financial support from philanthropic entities. The conservative Scaife Foundations of Pittsburgh gave FAIR — one of the biggest immigration-control nonprofit groups — $775,000 from 2003 to 2005. The foundations during the same time period also gave $420,000 to the Center for Immigration Studies and $100,000 to the NumbersUSA Education and Research Foundation — groups also that advocate tighter border control and restricting the flow of immigrants.
The Scaife Foundations, which include the Sarah Scaife and Carthage foundations, are connected with conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, the principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil and aluminum fortune.
The F.M. Kirby Foundation, which has supported many conservative nonprofit groups in recent years, gave $475,000 to NumbersUSA since 1998 and donated more than $375,000 to FAIR since 2000.
But overall, opponents of the bill say they rely more on strength in membership numbers that translates beyond donations, noting the more than 750,000 faxes opposing the Senate bill sent to members of Congress last month.
“This just shows how angry people are about this bill and over the idea of amnesty and allowing 12 million illegal aliens to remain here in this country and basically get rewarded for breaking the law,” Mrs. Espinosa said.
Since WHEN have Americans lost their RIGHT to defend their property in the United States?
10 YEARS fighting illegal on his property, but he is the one being sued for VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS???