Thursday, March 16, 2006


Just Another Border Crossing Death...

One of the leading Republican candidates for Oregon’s next governor announced that he believes “illegal immigrants” are the major, major problem in this state. Of course, he’s fatuous: Oregon’s problems come by the dozen: a collapsed school finance system, housing costs that increasingly exclude working people, a reliance on the good old boom-and-bus economy of the wild west, no money for social services, and on and on and on...

So, anyhow, for Mr Ron Saxon, major Republican, I offer this article:

Immigrant journey ends with girl's death
3/14/2006, 12:10 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Juan Cruz-Torralva brought his 12-year-old daughter through the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border because he wanted a better life for her in the United States.

Three days into the journey, a U.S. Border Patrol agent spotted the group of illegal immigrants, and as the agent chased them, the Border Patrol truck hit Cruz-Torralva and his daughter, Lourdes, killing her.

Yuma County sheriff's detectives determined the death was an accident, but Cruz-Torralva was arrested on charges of endangerment. Deputies argued that he had placed the child in "risk of imminent death" by bringing her into the desert.

A prosecutor on Monday refused to pursue the case, saying there wasn't enough evidence to prove the charge.

Cruz-Torralva, meanwhile, sat in jail and said he didn't understand why he was there.

"They said it's my fault for bringing her here, that it's my fault my daughter died. But I wasn't driving the truck," said the 28-year-old farm worker from Oaxaca, Mexico, who speaks limited Spanish.

He said he can barely walk since the accident, and his parents in Mexico are ill and don't have jobs.

"I just wanted her to get a good education," he said tearfully.

He had planned to take her to Oxnard, Calif., where his wife was living with the couple's 2-month-old son. He wanted to enroll Lourdes in school and work in the area's strawberry fields, he said.

"I was looking for a better life," he said. "I needed money to send to my family."

According to a report by the Yuma County Attorney's office, Cruz-Torralva and his daughter were among a dozen illegal immigrants followed by a Border Patrol agent.

After they stopped, the agent got out of his truck, heard moaning and discovered he had run over Cruz-Torralva and his daughter.

Cruz-Torralva was jailed March 8. The Mexican consul general in Yuma told him Monday that he would be returned to Mexico.

"He doesn't understand what happened," Consul General Hugo Rene Oliva Romero said outside the jail. "He's very concerned about the body of his daughter."

Richard Hays, a spokesman with the Border Patrol, would not comment on the case because an internal investigation was under way.

Cruz-Torralva said he just wants to go home to Mexico to be with his family.

"My daughter is dead, and my mom and dad are sick," he said. "I've been in jail for a week, I don't have any money, and I'm in pain."

"I just want to leave this place and never come back," he added, wiping tears from his eyes. "Never."


On the Net:

Border Patrol:

Mexican Consulate of Yuma:

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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