Off Topic Messages

Judge: 2 Illegal Aliens Win Arizona Ranch from Owner

Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:34 am

2 Illegal Immigrants Win Arizona Ranch in Court

DOUGLAS, Ariz., Aug. 18 - Spent shells litter the ground at what is left of the firing range, and camouflage outfits still hang in a storeroom. Just a few months ago, this ranch was known as Camp Thunderbird, the headquarters of a paramilitary group that promised to use force to keep illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border with Mexico.

Now, in a turnabout, the 70-acre property about two miles from the border is being given to two immigrants whom the group caught trying to enter the United States illegally.

The land transfer is being made to satisfy judgments in a lawsuit in which the immigrants had said that Casey Nethercott, the owner of the ranch and a former leader of the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, had harmed them.

"Certainly it's poetic justice that these undocumented workers own this land," said Morris S. Dees Jr., co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which represented the immigrants in their lawsuit.

Mr. Dees said the loss of the ranch would "send a pretty important message to those who come to the border to use violence."

The surrender of the ranch comes as the governors of Arizona and New Mexico have declared a state of emergency because of the influx of illegal immigrants and related crime along the border.

Bill Dore, a Douglas resident briefly affiliated with Ranch Rescue who is still active in the border-patrolling Minuteman Project, called the land transfer "ridiculous."

"The illegals are coming over here," Mr. Dore said. "They are getting the American property. Hell, I'd come over, too. Get some American property, make some money from the gringos."

The immigrants getting the ranch, Edwin Alfredo Mancía Gonzáles and Fátima del Socorro Leiva Medina, could not be reached for comment. Kelley Bruner, a lawyer at the law center, said they did not want to speak to the news media but were happy with the outcome.

Ms. Bruner said that Mr. Mancía and Ms. Leiva, who are from El Salvador but are not related, would not live at the ranch and would probably sell it. Mr. Nethercott bought the ranch in 2003 for $120,000.

Mr. Mancía, who lives in Los Angeles, and Ms. Leiva, who lives in the Dallas area, have applied for visas that are available to immigrants who are the victims of certain crimes and who cooperate with the authorities, Ms. Bruner said. She said that until a decision was made on their applications, they could stay and work in the United States on a year-to-year basis.

Mr. Mancía and Ms. Leiva were caught on a ranch in Hebbronville, Tex., in March 2003 by Mr. Nethercott and other members of Ranch Rescue. The two immigrants later accused Mr. Nethercott of threatening them and of hitting Mr. Mancía with a pistol, charges that Mr. Nethercott denied. The immigrants also said the group gave them cookies, water and a blanket and let them go after an hour or so.

The Salvadorans testified against Mr. Nethercott when he was tried by Texas prosecutors. The jury deadlocked on a charge of pistol-whipping but convicted Mr. Nethercott, who had previously served time in California for assault, of gun possession, which is illegal for a felon. He is now serving a five-year sentence in a Texas prison.

Mr. Mancía and Ms. Leiva also filed a lawsuit against Mr. Nethercott; Jack Foote, the founder of Ranch Rescue; and the owner of the Hebbronville ranch, Joe Sutton. The immigrants said the ordeal, in which they feared that they would be killed by the men they thought were soldiers, had left them with post-traumatic stress.

Mr. Sutton settled for $100,000. Mr. Nethercott and Mr. Foote did not defend themselves, so the judge issued default judgments of $850,000 against Mr. Nethercott and $500,000 against Mr. Foote.

Mr. Dees said Mr. Foote appeared to have no substantial assets, but Mr. Nethercott had the ranch. Shortly after the judgment, Mr. Nethercott gave the land to his sister, Robin Albitz, of Prescott, Ariz. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the siblings, saying the transfer was fraudulent and was meant to avoid the judgment.

Ms. Albitz, a nursing assistant, signed over the land to the two immigrants last week.

"It scared the hell out of her," Margaret Pauline Nethercott, the mother of Mr. Nethercott and Ms. Albitz, said of the lawsuit. "She didn't know she had done anything illegal. We didn't know they had a judgment against my son."

This was not the first time the law center had taken property from a group on behalf of a client. In 1987, the headquarters of a Ku Klux Klan group in Alabama was given to the mother of a boy whose murder was tied to Klansmen. Property has also been taken from the Aryan Nations and the White Aryan Resistance, Mr. Dees said.

Joseph Jacobson, a lawyer in Austin who represented Mr. Nethercott in the criminal case, said the award was "a vast sum of money for a very small indignity." Mr. Jacobson said the two immigrants were trespassing on Mr. Sutton's ranch and would have been deported had the criminal charges not been filed against Mr. Nethercott.

He criticized the law center for trying to get $60,000 in bail money transferred to the immigrants. While the center said the money was Mr. Nethercott's, Mr. Jacobson said it was actually Ms. Nethercott's, who mortgaged her home to post bail for her son.

Mr. Nethercott and Mr. Foote had a falling out in 2004, and Mr. Foote left Camp Thunderbird, taking Ranch Rescue with him. Mr. Nethercott then formed the Arizona Guard, also based on his ranch.

In April, Mr. Nethercott told an Arizona television station, "We're going to come out here and close the border with machine guns." But by the end of the month, he had started his prison sentence.

Now, only remnants of Camp Thunderbird remain on his ranch, a vast expanse of hard red soil, mesquite and tumbleweed with a house and two bunkhouses. One bunkhouse has a storeroom containing some camouflage suits, sleeping bags, tarps, emergency rations, empty ammunition crates, gun parts and a chemical warfare protection suit.

In one part of the ranch, dirt is piled up to form the backdrop of a firing range. An old water tank, riddled with bullet holes, is on its side. A platform was built as an observation post on the tower that once held the water tank.

Charles Jones, who was hired as a ranch hand about a month before Mr. Nethercott went to prison, put up fences and brought in cattle to graze. He has continued to live on the property with some family members.

But now the cattle are gone, and Mr. Jones has been told that he should prepare to leave. "It makes me sick I did all this work," he said.

Ms. Nethercott said she was not sure whether her son knew that his ranch was being turned over to the immigrants, but that he would be crushed if he did.

"That's his whole life," she said of the ranch. "He'd be heartbroken if he lost it in any way, but this is the worst way."

Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:26 pm

Do not get me started on this subject!!!


Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:15 pm

Good. I was wondering when this would get a response.

Along with the recent Supreme Court decision about
eminent domain "allowing" private property to be
taken over by big private property interests, it
sure makes you wonder what kind of country
we live in today.


Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:40 pm

I wouldn't give those 2 illegal immigrants anything -- except a swift boot kick in the ass sending them back across the border.

Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:03 pm

The Native Americans would no doubt smile at that one :shock:

Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:05 pm

After I threw up on my shoes, I thought quite a bit about this matter. Then I threw up again. The ultimate in f*cking insanity.

The only way those two "undocumented workers" should have appeared in that court was in shackles at their deportment hearing.

Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:04 am

Unfortunately, in the US as well as in the UK, you get a huge number of people with no moral principles whatsoever, who take great delight in taking the piss out of the system. If only that were the only problem - sadly, it is not.

We rely on our governments to protect our borders from those out for a free ride, but they don't, because allowing these people to clog up our doctors offices, dentists, benefit offices demand their "rights" to this and that is easier than actually doing something about it, like sending them back.

I believe anyone has the right to be in this country through the legitimate channels. If they choose not to, and actively go about ways in which to enter a country illegally, then that suggests to me they have something to hide and have no other intention than to deprive the countries' legitimate citizens of its resources to take for themselves. And the courts, it seems, allow them to do it!

Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:39 pm

Hopefully this moronic judge will be overturned on appeal.

Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:11 pm

2 sides.

I say deport them and also take the ranch off the twat who was not trained in the role he decided he would take on as a vigilante.

Sell the place at auction and donate the money to a charitable cause.

The moral being that no one should have been a direct winner in this situation.

Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:36 pm

Perhaps it's just payback time. Colonialists are just reaping what they sowed:-)

This thread is really amusing.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:02 am

If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:26 am

Scatter wrote:If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

Granada, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, Iraq,... :roll:

Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:27 am

Scatter wrote:If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

Granada, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, Iraq,... :roll:

Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:29 am

Scatter wrote:If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

With all those Irish already in America :lol:

Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:54 am

Left or right, I don't see what's amusing about
about failing to defend this nation's borders, and I'm
the first to be critical of some of this nation's foreign
policy adventures, as well as the mistreatment of
Native Americans, although even that has become
simplistic and trivialized by revisionist history that
only talks about the Evil White European Male.

As for the actual case at hand, these illegal
immigrants are exploited as cheap labor when
they get here - and in turn also undermine
the wages of Americans already here. Only corporations
benefit from this situation, which is why
you see an awkward left-right silence on this
issue, most notably from President Bush but also
what's left of organized labor.

The multicultural left quietly cheers the historical
"payback" and tilting of the scales towards
a majority Latino America (while others on the left
are cowed by a fear of being called "racist")
while part of the right is tied-up in knots
over their belief in free markets.

Meanwhile, patriots left and right (taxpayers, what have you)
are troubled by the illegal immigration crisis. The mainstream
politician who adopts this issue correctly could
very well be the next president and have support
from both sides (African-Americans, Whites, Rich,
poor and even some Latinos) in doing so.

That this guy lost his ranch is nothing to cheer,
and you don't have to necessarily champion his
actions, which to me seem understandable, to
say the least. On national security, post-9/11 bounds
alone we should be concerned about a porous

The real villain in this particular case is the once-proud
"Southern Poverty Law Center" led by Morris Dees.
This race huckster has been criticized even by the left
for his opportunism and now makes Al Sharpton
look relatively enlightened.

When Ireland's schools, public places and police
budgets begin to be over-run by illegal immigrants
and a brazen gangs such as MS-13 from El Salvador,
(apparently not yet the case from what I know),
then perhaps we can swap stories. Until then,
trust me: you don't have to be a right-wing loon to
say "enough is enough." Citizen confidence in our judges,
courts, and nearly all offices seems to be a low
ebb and this one takes the cake.

The outrage is only
growing, as evidence by one town in Virginia that
proposed using taxpayer dollars to finance an
"immigration center" of sorts for illegal immigrants
so that they wouldn't have to hang out in front of
convenience store parking lots. The uproar was loud,
and provoked a serious discussion about the pros and cons
of such "cheap" labor - and the failure of the federal
government to do anything about it.

I'm not entirely surprised that a few people outside of the U.S.
(Spanish, Maurice) take some solace in this story.

I aim this post at
my fellow Americans, for the most part, although
I'm sure some Europeans, like Stephen, share similar
concerns. Obviously, much of Europe has to come to terms
with their own immigration problem.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:03 am

Greg,We ARE being over-run with illegal immigrants and legal ones too. Ireland SUDDENLY became multi-cultured in just five years. Chinese Polish, Nigerians, and yes, British workers, are flocking to this country because of our very fast growing economy.

Irish illegal migration to the USA (tens of thousands) has been in operation for decades and maybe four were deported:-) Now if they were black or brown.......................?

Anyway in a historical context the economical based migration of people on this planet is just part of our evolution.

The British gained from their illegal Romans and Normans....but don't mention the vikings:-) We had a little trouble with them too...but they did build early Dublin............before we chased them out:-) Now they are back in droves as tourists along with the many thousands of Americans and Europeans..English included:-)

Legal. Now there's a word to play with.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:15 pm

Maurice, good, then it is proceeding as I suspected, albeit not on the
level of the US or even the UK, unless I'm mistaken. The issues
remain the same and I dare say you'd be concerned if such
indicators showed up on your doorstep.

Such migrations are, of course, nothing new. Defending national
borders is also one of the most basic reasons we even form
governments to protect us.

We need not restort to canards about "racism": America is about
as open to any nationality as any before it. It's part of our
mythology. I am partly of Irish ethnic origin, and have new
immigrants in my own family (not from Ireland): all agree that
filing proper paperwork, waiting in line and your turn and also
learning English should be a priority for all.

I'm well aware of the historical discrimination the Irish faced
(even being considered "non-white"!) but I also think America
found a way to aborb them through "Americanization" and
assimilation. These ideas need to be revived.

And by the way, the Irish immigrant community here has in
fact been very much effected by the tightening of standards
after 9/11, making it quite difficult for those here illegally,
and also staunching much of the influx.

The day the courts of your nation are giving property to
illegal immigrants who tresspass on that land is a day
when things are truly turned on their head. Say what you
will about America, but we have a lot of good people here
too who deserve better than such an insult.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:50 pm

Greg, the guy losing his farm is an extreme case. Yes a nonsense.

But this border stuff on this little planet seems crazy or have I just read too much Vonnegut.

My cousin and his family lost his farm and more in Southern Zimbabwe. He had to leave rapidly as he had faught in the war against Mugabe's guys. They are now taking back their country. Legal?

My cousin an ex-Irish guardsman, and Rhodesian Airforce, now grows thousands of hardwood trees on the side of a hill here in Ireland. He is not happy with the sudden influx of Nigerians into Ireland. Mostly educated by Irish Jesuits:-)

Goverments waste hundreds of billions of Dollars on wars and many other white elephants and we are expected to worry about illegal workers?

John Steinbeck's, "The Grapes of Wrath", is a good read:-) A fair movie too.

Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:18 pm

I'm a labor guy - and love Steinbeck, too.

But illegal immigration only brings down living standards of workers
who fought hard for higher standards. Only corporations and the wealthy
benefit. The US has now become the "safety valve" /
dumping ground for Vicento Fox's Mexico.

And I do think it's worthwhile to care about the stability of one's country, too. Maybe you don't have the gang problem we do, such as MS13,
but it ain't pretty. Kind of takes the Steinbeck romance out of ya.

And such laissez-faire attitudes produced the 9/11 debacle:

Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:33 pm

We have a minimum wage here...Polish construction workers were being exploited till the media got on the case.

Employers exploit workers at every opportunity if they are allowed to get away with it.

These days modern communications make it very difficult indeed for them:-) ..Irish workers boycotted South African produce being sold here because of Appartheid, and won the case.

We may not have your severe problems yet, but we are getting there. It's unfortunately the way of the world.

Nevertheless with the information technology we now possess we may soon see a little light on the horizon?

Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:27 pm

Two steps forward, two steps back, Maurice.

The internet has been a boon for most, but it also means
an employer can move jobs rather rapidly. There is some
activity against Wal-Mart going on by workers in various nations,
but corporations are still way out in front on technology, effectively
in the "driver's seat."

Also, in times past, immigrants would have to sooner or later
make peace with their new surroundings, finding common
cause where needed with other workers.

"Ghettoization" tends to happen now as the advent of internet-based
phone cards means that folks may live in a new country for
years and never really blend in. It's great that they don't lose
touch with their original home (and relatives left behind) but
it can make assimilation a much longer process, too.

An Atta can also read all his favorite Jihad websites, too. :roll:

Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:46 am

Spanish_Eyes wrote:
Scatter wrote:If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

Granada, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, Iraq,... :roll:

Thanks for proving my point.......if we wanted to colonize, we could lob a few neutron bombs, decimate the population, and leave the structures intact. Then we would move right on in.THAT'S colonialism.Never happened.

Now, if you think we are going to allow Communist expansionism in our way. We may end up a Socialist basketcase like Spain.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:49 am

MauriceinIreland wrote:
Scatter wrote:If America was colonialist we would be sitting in Dublin right now......or Moscow, or Paris, or name a city of your choosing .And there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do about it.

With all those Irish already in America :lol:

:lol: :lol: I'm no xenophobe Maurice!!!! I love the Irish.....and the Hispanic too (I married one......and recommend it :wink: ). Just enter LEGALLY is all I ask.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:50 pm

Scatter wrote:
Just enter LEGALLY is all I ask.

I sure hope Maurice doesn't take that as an invitation, buddy.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:21 pm

America is fine..for Americans.........whoever they are.

We enjoyed our six trips to the great ol' USA immensely.

Nevertheless, after sampling a few cities, New York, Washington DC, Memphis, New Haven, Oxford and Tupelo, we have decided we are far far better off here in beautiful cool Ireland:-)