AZ Court of Appeals rules illegals can be convicted as co-conspirators

The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of an illegal alien prosecuted as a co-conspirator under the state’s human-smuggling law.

The court found that the law’s wording is clear and unambiguous — illegals can be convicted for conspiracy to smuggle themselves into the country.

The defendant, Juan Barragan-Sierra of Mexico, had argued that the Arizona Legislature didn’t intend to punish anyone but smugglers when it passed the law. The 2005 law made it a state crime to smuggle humans, already a federal crime.

Prosecutors working for the office of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have successfully prosecuted more than 750 such defendants — charged and convicted of violating the law as conspirators. Convictions can bring up to two years in prison.

Barragan-Sierra, 23, had admitted paying a smuggler $2,000 to be taken into the U.S. in June 2006, according to the daily.

Thomas called the court’s ruling intellectually courageous. “It’s another historic milestone in the fight against illegal immigration, and it shows that Maricopa County continues to lead the way in that effort,” he said.

This decision cannot be warmly received by the editorial board at the Arizona Republic which advocates on behalf of the continual flow of illegal traffic into the United States in editorials, fluff features, poignant photos, skewed news reports, via columnists and the paper’s favorite top-of-the-editorial page brief blurbs.

7 Responses to AZ Court of Appeals rules illegals can be convicted as co-conspirators

  1. Villanova says:

    There is integrity on the AZ Courts! Excellent decision by the Division One panel!

  2. Sideliner says:

    A great coup for Maricopa County!! Arpaio’s deputies and Thomas’prosecutors deserve our thanks!

  3. Jana Simmons says:

    Bravo Mr. County Attorney! Keep up the good work. You and Sheriff Arpaio are doing the people’s work keeping Arizona citizens safe on our own streets and enforcing the law as it is written. You are both appreciated for your determination to do the right thing in the face of a bitter press.

  4. Chuck says:

    Fine decision by the court!

    I have one question. Where do these “poor people coming to take the jobs Americans refuse to do,” get thousands of dollars to pay for their illegal transport into the US?

  5. Kent says:

    Think that through, Chuck. High theft rate along with other crimes that generate money, stolen documents sold to newly arrived illegals, remittances from illegal workers already here sent back to friends and relatives…the list goes on and on. They have money when they want to have money.

  6. RA says:

    Bravo for the Arizona Court of Appeals! And a heartfelt thanks to County Attorney Andrew Thomas!

    Re: Chuck’s question – illegals often pay some money in advance for their transport and some money after arriving in the US, once they find work here. It does lead to more crime as Kent states, and many of these people are squeezed extremely hard by their enablers (employers and coyotes and other “facilitators”) so that they either are forced into or voluntarily turn to crime. I disagree with the contention that “they have money when they want to have money.”

    The best solutions to all the ills involved are a border barrier, repatriation of criminals, repeal of the “born on US soil” amendment, and CLEAR, UNEQUIVOCAL, LAW ENFORCEMENT. We have these in our power.

    It would help if the Mexican government wasn’t trying to promote illegal immigration, it would help if the US business community got out of the business of importing labor, and it would help if US pols stopped “Hispandering.” These ain’t gonna happen.

  7. SherriAZ says:

    RA, excellent comments. You’re right, nothing will happen unless the American taxpayer forces the hand of the business-politico partnership. Fortunately, there’s enough of us who are really angry and will continue the fight!