Joe's exploits are worsening the problem: What your story drives home is how easily these human-smuggling operations fly under the radar of law enforcement.
I dare say Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is these smugglers' BFF, because while he's out rounding up maids, gardeners, and brown-skinned U.S. citizens, the smugglers are running their organized-crime businesses uninterrupted.
New Times feedback
Arpaio's TV-exploited "illegal immigration sweeps" take the heat off the real criminals.
Which is just fine with Joe and his polygamous wives, [former] County Attorney Andrew Thomas and [Chief Deputy] David Hendershott. These three are bigger psychopaths than the coyotes you describe.
Larry Jerome, Phoenix
Screw the illegals!: No matter what happens to illegal immigrants on their way here, they deserve it. They are coming into our country illegally, so screw them!
I'm sure all the bleeding-heart liberals reading this are crying rivers, but think about it: If these criminals just stayed in their own countries, they wouldn't be beaten, tortured, and killed by worse criminals.
T.J. Crum, Phoenix
It's not a new problem: Those who came over on the Mayflower are the original illegal-immigrant invaders. Let us recognize.
Illegal immigration is not a new problem. Native Americans used to call it white people.
Ron Nesmith, Phoenix
What about Africans and Asians?: If these illegal immigrants were Asians, it would be so much better.
Look at our schools, our prison system, and our society in general. Mexicans and Central Americans under-perform in schools, are over-represented in prisons, and are at the bottom of our society.
Half the people in this world would kill to come to the United States. Where do we draw the line?
How come the same people who fight for Mexicans to come here aren't fighting for the whole continent of Africa and all of South Asia to come to the United States?
Raghib Ismail, Dallas
It's like genocide: Before anyone starts screaming racism, let's remember this. These are Mexican people killing, torturing, and raping their own race. Much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton take advantage of black people.
So before anyone wants to cry about evil Americans wanting to protect our borders, let's realize whom the coyotes and the drug cartels are killing and abusing for profit.
It's genocide in a way.
Rod Chapman, Denver
How do you live though this?: This is so sad. Horrible. I am crying just reading this. Can you ever imagine anyone having to live through this? Something needs to be done.
Kathy Hunt, Miami
Bob thinks they deserve torture and death: Boo-hoo, pass me a tissue. Maria in your story and her co-illegal aliens deserve the terror bestowed upon them for their illegal entry into the USA.
When you lie with lice and fleas, your get lice and fleas. If New Times wants to help these people, then it should publish this article in Spanish and post it to every newspaper in Central America and Mexico.
Bob Johnson, Miami
A Mexican war zone: Thanks for this article, which tells it exactly like it is. Don't think it cannot happen to you. It can, easily.
The arms race in Mexico has gotten to the point where the cartels are armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers.
It wasn't that long ago that Al Capone and his like strolled the streets of U.S. cities with their Thompson machine guns. While you're agonizing over what to do in Iraq, remember that just over our southern border is a war zone that nobody sensible [from outside there] sets foot in.
Lest this not convince you [that something must be done], what is going to happen to the economy when the border is closed due to violence, and trade stops?
Tu Vecino, New York
Immigration system needs to be more flexible: This is a very detailed article about the daily life of immigrants trying to cross into the United States. My brother had this experience in real life.
We paid $3,000 to get him released. Many people don't understand the real situation about the poor pollos.
If the immigration system gets flexible for all people, it will be a better border. Programs need to be created so poor people can have the opportunity to make some dollars here and go back home.
If you're Mexican and apply to enter to States legally, you will be rejected. That's why so many people pay coyotes.
Juan Manuen, Los Angeles
More has to be done: What a horrifying situation. These people are being systematically persecuted and murdered.
I know that Barack Obama has "more boots on the ground" at the border than in any time in history and that the fingerprint program is going strong, deporting thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Despite Republicans spouting their outrage about illegal immigrants, they largely voted against funding the latest bill to help deal with this problem.
More has to be done. People near the border are scared — and with good reason. The only good thing about the unconstitutional [Senate Bill 1070] in Arizona is the attention it's focused on this problem.
What a chilling article. Most of us had no idea about this situation. This can't be allowed to continue.
Lisa Williams, Los Angeles
Probably not much: This tragic article raises the question: What's Mexico doing to reduce the number of people who want to leave?
Donald Bryan, Los Angeles
Brewer's pouring gas on fire: It is clear that our U.S. policies are among the main drivers of our problems with Mexican and other Latin American undocumented aliens.
First, the abominable quota system allowing Mexico the same number of visas per year as the tiny European country of Belgium. Second, the horrendous drug-gang problems, powered by factors we have created, [including] the huge U.S. hunger demand for drugs.
Governor Jan Brewer's racial stereotyping and the copycats in other states are not helping. They are pouring gasoline on the fire.
Timothy Ray, Los Angeles
Luis gets it — desperation: Thanks for an eye-opening article. These scumbags must be stopped. These are crimes against humanity.
Undocumented people are only looking for a way to feed their families — they are desperate.
Our federal government needs to come up with comprehensive immigration reform. It needs to address the problem of separated families, get these people out of the shadows.
Luis Lopez, Los Angeles
Great worldview, James: Every fanatic Christian will be out crying to save these illegal scumbags as they take jobs from legal immigrants and Americans.
Do not feed into these "poor" people looking for an easy way out of a shit country like Mexico. No one wants these low-lives because they are the most ignorant, stupid morons in the world.
James Russo, address unavailable
You too, Mickey: Once apprehended, these poor excuses of human beings [smugglers] should be sent to Afghanistan.
As we well know [the Afghans] understand this type of human degradation — they practice it every day.
Mickey Lane, address unavailable
Chriss wants his country back: As long as we ignore the lack of border security, we will enable these vile, disgusting excuses for human beings to continue to exploit illegal immigrant crossings of our border.
Every coyote caught should be hanged from our 30-foot concrete border. The border would be built by the money we would save by deporting the illegal immigrants out of our prisons.
I want my country back. We are exploited, and we have become weak. I have no problem with proper immigration — after all, we're all immigrants here.
Chriss Allman, address unavailable
Another reason to control our borders: This is a terrible situation. Another reason to control our borders. Another reason to crack down on those who hire illegal immigrants and [another reason to] help Mexico and other Latin countries improve their infrastructure.
Ann Berry, address unavailable
Build the damn wall already: This is absolutely horrible, and something must be done. I suggest we get the wall built immediately and put an end to this tragedy.
Phillip McKann, address unavailable
It's no way to treat people: Well, from what I can see, [illegal aliens] want better lives for themselves — nothing wrong with that. Plain and simple, it's everyone's right to have a better life.
More than likely, they saved their hard-earned money so they could pay to [to get here and] have better lives. It isn't anyone's right to treat people [the way coyotes treat pollos]. And the sad thing is, many do not report it because they feel they will get into more problems for sneaking in illegally.
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I will say that this isn't anything different from what each and every one of us would do. We would all pay whatever price for a good life for our families.
Kurt Tappe, address unavailable
Symptom of a greater problem: This article sheds some light on a huge underlying issue with immigration law and the effects of immigration on the immigrants.
It's unfortunate that these people attempt to cross, given the perils involved — harsh terrain, unbearable heat, dehydration, long voyage, smugglers, and lack of legal ability. But the protection of our nation's identity and workforce is necessary.
The illegals are a symptom of a greater problem: unenforceable labor laws.
Jonathan Willis, address unavailable