Dimmitt County Immigrant Deaths Seen as a Byproduct of a Broken System

The death of five illegal immigrants in the Texas Brush Country on Sunday is being seen as an unintended consequence of the nation's broken immigration system, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"We have seen this many many times in not only this county but in many counties along the border," Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd told 1200 WOAI news following Sunday's tragedy.  "This is a good example of why our borders need to be secure."

Five people, all believed to be undocumented immigrants from Mexico or Central America, were killed when they were ejected from an SUV which flipped over near Big Wells, in Dimmit County about 100 miles southwest of San Antonio.

A total of a dozen illegal immigrants were packed into the vehicle.  Several other people were airlifted to SAMMC and to University Hospital in San Antonio, and Boyd says one of them was suffering potentially life threatening injuries.

Manuel Padilla, who is the Border Patrol station chief in the Rio Grande Valley, says the deaths in this smuggling attempt on Sunday, as well as the death of ten illegal immigrants who baked to death in a sweltering 18 wheeler in San Antonio last summer, are consequences of the nation's immigration policies.

"What has created the situation is truly our inability to enforce the law," Padilla said.  "That's what has created these numbers, and this trend that we are seeing right now."

Padilla says when people know that entering the U.S. illegally is relatively easy, it decreases the incentive for people to do it the legal way.Boyd says that situation endangers not only the illegal immigrants, like the five who died yesterday, but U.S. citizens who may very well have been in the path of that speeding SUV.

"It endangeres American lives, as well as those of people from Mexico and other countries who are coming here for whatever reason they are coming," the Sheriff said.  "That is a major reason they are coming."

The driver, who Boyd said is a U.S. citizen, was arrested.

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