Status quo won’t suffice

Excuse us if this doesn’t exactly meet the definition of news anymore. It’s more like a regular occurrence in this rural region of South Texas.

Today’s paper contains the account of Bee County Sheriff’s officers apprehending most of about 17 illegal aliens from Guatemala who bailed out of a pickup truck Sunday morning in the Mineral area.

Deputy Quinton Tawater reported spotting a 2004 Chevrolet extended cab pickup on FM Road 673 west of Mineral and gave chase as the truck sped away from him at 84 mph.

He saw about 10 of the truck’s occupants jump from the vehicle and run into the brush. One who fled had been lying in the pickup’s bed.

When the officer got to the vehicle, he found seven persons still lying in the bed. All were taken into custody and turned over to the Border Patrol.

The extreme heat that weekend apparently got to some of those who had successfully eluded deputies because four of the runaways were apprehended Sunday afternoon.

Despite their harrowing ordeal, these Guatemalans were more fortunate than a 19-year-old Honduras man who was found dead along Ridgeway Lane Friday, May 31.

Juan Orlando Perez Lopez was found that afternoon, unresponsive and propped against a fence alongside this road in southern Bee County.

His body was left behind by human smugglers, and Lt. Adam Levine with the sheriff’s office pointed out that this occurred less than 100 yards from where another victim’s body was found a few years ago.

Drawing national attention, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported on June 5 that Robstown police pursued a vehicle for speeding that was found crashed in a field with six people dead and several others injured.

Robstown EMS Chief Roland Padilla said the vehicle, which contained about 14 undocumented immigrants from several countries, crashed into a ditch in the sorghum field. Several people who were trapped inside had to be rescued and were taken to area hospitals.

Pontificating and platitudes about this ongoing crisis are meaningless. Our national leaders need to work together to find a real solution. The only ones currently benefiting are the cartels, coyotes and undertakers.

A fair system must be devised to allow people into United States, but let us know who’s coming in. Yes, we were all immigrants at some point. It’s a dangerous world out there as 9-11 drove home to America. If we must go through TSA checkpoints to fly from San Antonio to Dallas, why shouldn’t immigrants have to go through a security clearance to enter the country? If you’re in the country legally, you don’t have to run from authorities.

Around here, congressional policy failures have names like Juan Orlando Perez Lopez and they are found lying in our fields. Somewhere in Honduras, he had a mother and a family. He deserved better than a lonely fence post in the broiling South Texas sun.

At the local level, residents, farmers and ranchers simply want to return to a quiet, normal lifestyle, without running into speeding trucks loaded with illegal immigrants or discovering bodies on their property.