The U.S. government is facing a lawsuit from the family of a woman killed while trying to cross the border illegally. The suit was filed last week on behalf of the husband and daughter of a woman who was struck and killed by a Coast Guard patrol boat in April 2015. The woman and a human smuggler were reportedly trying to cross the Brownsville ship channel on inner tubes when the boat's propeller struck her. The lawsuit claims the boat was going too fast in an area known for human smuggling. It seeks monetary damages for her death, plus pain and suffering.
Stories of illegal immigrants dying due to accidents or difficult conditions while trying to cross the U.S. border are nothing new. But suing the U.S. government on their behalf is not as common. "I don't think we owe anybody pain and suffering that's trying to break into the United States in violation of our laws," says William Gheen with the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). He tells KTRH that incidents like this should serve as a further deterrent to illegal immigrants. "A lot of people are trying to cross desert and waterways that are dangerous, and the message is it's dangerous, you may die trying to do it, you should know that you may die trying to do it, and you shouldn't try it."
Gheen also believes lawsuits like this should be thrown out in order to keep people from profiting by attempting to break the law. "The lesson that should be learned here is not that if you try to illegally immigrate to the United States and you die in the process, that your family gets wealthy," he says. "I think the message should be you should not try to illegally immigrate to the United States at all."