You’d think people would understand that to go into a hostile environment (scorchingly hot, no water, food or assistance, no roads, maps or places to stay) brings with it the possibility of problems. The very real possibility of problems – not the least of which is death.

Yet, it’s happened again. As I write this column, news reports, especially in the southwest, report that 14 illegal aliens died in the unforgiving desert of Arizona near Yuma where temperatures this week reached 115 degrees.

As the Border Patrol deals with the dead, searching continues for several others of the illegals who may also have succumbed. Early reports said at least 13 survivors had been found.

It’s not unusual that death from the elements is part of the risky business of sneaking into the United States with plans of staying and working here illegally. According to Border Patrol reports, last year there were 490 crossing deaths. Some of these were individuals on their own, others were part of groups who had paid human smugglers, called coyotes, to “escort” them to safe places in this country.

Unfortunately, these crooks don’t much care for the welfare of the people they are supposed to be helping, as apparently happened in this instance. The search is on to find those who let these folks down – they will be the bad guys and, as a result, the illegals are being transformed into the good guys. Those who died will be martyrs to the cause, essentially – eliminating the border with Mexico.

One big question exists in all this: Who’s responsible for the deaths? Is it the illegal willing to break the law to get what he wants? Is it the coyote who demands money to help the person break the law? Is it the state in which the illegal acts take place? Is it Mexico which allows its own people to illegally cross borders into a neighboring nation? Is the United States responsible since it’s the job of the federal government to protect our borders?

First, let’s get some terminology straight. The people who sneak across our borders and stay here to live and work are illegal aliens. Rather than follow our laws as millions of others have done – and still do – they choose to take what they want now, the law be damned. Legal aliens are those who follow the entry guidelines and do things the right and legal way.

Unfortunately, the media, politicians and “rights” groups have played politically correct language games. “Illegal alien” has become “illegal immigrant” or, better yet, just “immigrant.” Or, if they are working, the PC term to use is “undocumented workers.” Of course, if you draw attention to the subterfuge, you are called an “immigrant basher” or, the ultimate crime today, a “racist.” It didn’t help when congress granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of foreign lawbreakers and allowed them to stay and benefit from our generous system.

Another situation that hasn’t helped is Mexico itself. Rather than improve economically to keep its people home where they belong, it seems Mexico has let the status quo remain. Like it or not, their inaction simply condones the undermining of U.S. borders.

Now, however, Mexico has decided to do something to help – but not to help stop the illegal migration north. No, Mexico wants the people to have a safe trip. President Vicente Fox just announced that a new program will begin on June 15 and will cost Mexico $2 million. They are also seeking money from the United States to help with the expenses!

The idea is to give illegals “safety packets” for their trip. Each will contain food, water, medicine, simple surgical tools and bandages, and a month’s supply each of birth control pills and condoms.

They’ll also get a list of California health clinics that give treatment without requiring a Social Security number! In addition, each person with active Tuberculosis will be given a record of their treatment so it can continue in this country – courtesy of taxpayers, thank you very much! Seminars will be held in Mexico to teach about American diets, good nutrition and how to shop here for healthy food, the kind they’re used to in Mexico!

Nice, huh? But, here’s the capper: Psychological seminars will be held in poor Mexican states where people will be taught relaxation and concentration exercises in addition to Asian breathing and meditation exercises. Why? Well, because they need to be able to combat the depression and anxieties that come from leaving family and being illegally in an English-speaking nation.

Can you imagine? Classes in how to deal with illegal stress!!??!!

I have a better idea – just stay home. Mexico would better spend that $2 million doling out the pesos directly to the people so they can stay healthy and live well in Mexico. And, just think of it – they wouldn’t face the prospect of being anxious and depressed!

Mexico should be ashamed of this scheme, which is simply a means to undermine the sovereignty of our borders and it’s particularly galling since Mexico’s own immigration policy does not tolerate border jumpers. However, our friendly neighbor to the south has different standards for us and is willing to put up money to encourage more of its own citizens to become lawbreakers in a country it claims is its good neighbor.

Where, oh where, is a voice of reason from anywhere to call attention to this inane travesty?

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