I can’t help but wonder if what has happened to Theresa Todd will cause conservative-leaning libertarians to abandon their support of immigration controls, the system of immigration central planning, cruelty, and tyranny that both conservatives and progressives have unfortunately foisted upon our land.
Todd lives in West Texas. One night she was driving down a highway when she was flagged down by three young Central American migrants — Carlos, 22, his brother Francisco 20, and their sister Esmeralda, 18.
The three of them had fled El Salvador years ago and had been living with an aunt in Guatemala. Two of Carlos’s friends had been murdered by Guatemalan gangs and a gang leader wanted Esmeralda to be his girlfriend. The three of them decided to flee to the United States. They entered the U.S. by crossing a remote desert.
When Todd encountered the three, Esmeralda was suffering from starvation, extreme dehydration, and infected wounds from cactus spines and rhabdomyolysis, a grave illness that sometimes leads to kidney failure. According to William Kitts, the local sheriff in Jeff Davis County, Texas, where the incident took place, Esmeralda would have died if Todd had not stopped to help her.
And Todd did stop to help, a decision that has ended up costing her immensely. Why? Because while the three migrants were sitting in Todd’s vehicle as she began making telephone calls, a deputy sheriff drove up and then immediately summoned the Border Patrol, who proceeded to arrest not only the three migrants but also Todd herself.
Todd hasn’t yet been formally charged and there is still a possibility that federal officials will think twice before prosecuting her, especially since the 53-year-old woman serves as both the city attorney of Marfa, Texas, and the county attorney of Jeff Davis County. If she is charged, the likely offense will be “harboring” illegal immigrants, which is a felony. A conviction would likely result in the revocation of her law license.
That’s what Todd gets for stopping to help those three young people, one of whom was on the verge of death. As she put it,
I honestly don’t feel like I ever did anything wrong: I stopped to help some kids. It’s been pretty transformative for me, to be perfectly honest. To have devoted my life to public service, and then to be Mirandized, detained and investigated as if I’m a human smuggler. The whole thing was really, really, very surreal. It was like a “Twilight Zone.”
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, under a system of open borders, which is the system that we libertarians favor, Carlos, Francisco, and Esmeralda would not have been entering the country by crossing a lonely and dangerous desert. They would have been crossing the border on roads and at bridges, just like normal human beings, which means that Carlos and Francisco wouldn’t have been flagging someone down on a highway late at night to help their ailing sister. And even if they were doing that, it wouldn’t be a felony offense to help foreign citizens who need help.
Welcome to America’s system of immigration controls. As I have repeatedly emphasized over the years, this system has brought an immigration police state to the American Southwest, one that has brought extreme tyranny, cruelty, oppression, and immorality to our land. The arrest, continued incarceration, and threatened deportation of those three young migrants and the mistreatment and possible criminal prosecution of Theresa Todd for stopping to help them is only the most recent manifestation of this phenomenon.