San Diego Paper: 'Migrant' Deaths at Border Grows, Report Lacks Perspective

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a story last week that typifies the lack of perspective and a refusal to give a more full account of the facts in the illegal immigration debate common from too many media outlets. The Union-Trib was all worried that "22 migrants have died in S.D. sector" but didn't seem too interested in all relevant information, leaving only a vague feeling that sympathy is due these "migrants," as they repeatedly call them, instead of illegal aliens.

First of all, the very title itself of the story by staff writer Norma de la Vega calls these illegal invaders a much more benign "migrants." It's as if they are legal entrants, honest "migrants," instead of those sneaking into the country through the desert back country of San Diego.

To their credit, though, the story does call them illegal at least twice. First here...

The number of people who have died while trying to cross the border illegally in the San Diego area has more than doubled in the past year.

And here...

Zamudio, a Michoacan native who had lived in the United States for 20 years, was deported in May. As far as anyone knows, he crossed illegally over the mountains May 20.

But, there is the problem with the story and it tends to make the reader "feel" badly for these illegals despite the fact that they are breaking laws to get here. There is no perspective of this death rate that the story says has "more than doubled" as if the numbers are cause for great alarm.

Now, of course, no one wants a single person to die just because they want to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that they might find in these great United States. But, even a quick glance at the numbers of illegals coming in shows that the 22 or so that have died is a tiny number and that it isn't really anything to get too alarmed over in the statistical sense.

Thus far in the 2008 cycle, the San Diego border patrol has apprehended 122,554 illegal immigrants crossing our borders. And that is just San Diego. Add in the other sectors of the Southwest Border Patrol and you get 578,774. And these are only the ones caught. Certainly the estimates of over 1.9 million illegal crossings in the Southwest area can be believed.

So, let's realize the paltry number that is 22 or so deaths that have resulted from this dangerous crossing. With thousands apprehended and over a million not being apprehended, 22 deaths is a statistically insignificant number.

And, as the story does report, the San Diego patrol has rescued 64 people thus far this year. So, we've even saved lives with our border patrol. There is little reason to feel too bad for these people. They took their chances, broke the law, and some paid the ultimate price for that decision. They should feel lucky that even more didn't die from the efforts.

In the end, here, one can only assume that the sort of sensational approach to the story was meant to make Americans feel sorry for these lawbreakers instead of feeling scorn for them.