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Two weeks ago, I appeared, as I do occasionally, on a regional PBS show called “Kansas City Week in Review.” As one of four panelists from the local media, and the only conservative, I so altered the discussion on “immigration” that even our quick-witted host was left without words.

At the 2:05 mark of this video, I introduced an unexpected variation on the illegal-immigration theme. “The biggest mass killing this past weekend did not take place in Aurora, Colorado,” I told them. “It took place in Goliad, Texas.”

The other panelists looked at me as if I were crazy, which at least a few of them think I am. For that matter, I imagine most readers of this article don’t know what I am talking about.

Here is what happened. On July 22, less than 48 hours after the Colorado shooting, a Mexican coyote lost control of his Ford F-250 pick-up truck at high speed on Highway 59 outside of Goliad and killed 14 of the 22 Central Americans on board. Most had been laid out on the truck bed like sardines.

The driver, 22-year-old Ricardo Mendoza-Pineda, died in the crash as well. As the responders discovered the hard way, he was the only person on the truck with ID, in his case a driver’s license from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

“This is coming as news to many of your viewers,” I told the show’s host. “This was a criminal act that resulted in 15 deaths. And no one wants to talk about it because it has no useful political value for the people who determine what’s news and what’s not.”

“People go to the movie theater every single day,” retorted Kansas City Star reporter Mary Sanchez, who was at least aware of the Texas horror. “That resonates with people.”

To a degree, Sanchez was right. The movie theater shooting has more implicit news value, but I think we can agree that if a tea-party activist murdered 14 Central American day laborers in front of a Home Depot on July 22, it would still be headline news today.

Certainly, when a man opened fire in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, an establishment few Star readers might ever frequent, the story got top billing in the Star’s online morning brief.

The Star headlined the Wisconsin story, “Deadly rampage at Sikh temple in Wisconsin considered terrorism.” By contrast, the headline the Star gave the Texas story would be comical were it not so tragic, “Official: Tire likely caused deadly Texas crash.”

Think about this. A driver, likely part of a human-trafficking ring, cruelly stuffs 22 illegals into a pickup truck and kills 14 of them, and the Star blames a tire?

In fact, the media buried the Goliad story because the only people they could conceivably blame for the crash, other than the tire company, were themselves and their political allies.

Time Magazine, which covered the story better than most, portrays the smugglers as the villains, and they certainly deserve their share of the blame. As Time points out, federal agents have rescued 240 illegals and found the remains of 80 others so far in 2012, and these are just in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas.

As with drugs, however, there would be no point in trafficking if there were no demand for the product. The demand for illegal aliens comes not only from those who knowingly employ them, but also from those who enable the employers.

The roll call of enablers is a long and ignoble one. It includes everyone from self-serving politicians to self-righteous media to self-deluding church people.

The human traffickers must sit up and smile every time a mayor declares his a “sanctuary” city; every time a pastor speaks of immigration as a “life” issue; every time a politician uses the word “undocumented” instead of “illegal”; every time a pundit attacks the local Republican as a “nativist” or “xenophobe.”

And when President Obama – by fiat – turned illegals into “dreamers,” he gave the traffickers a recruitment tool they can go to the bank on for years to come.

But now, if we could only make better tires!

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