Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another Hidden Cost of Illegal Immigration

It is estimated that over 500,000 immigrants illegally enter this country each year. Many do so at grave risk. It is further estimated that there are currently 12 to 30 million illegal aliens currently residing in the U.S.

What happens when an illegal immigrant unexpectedly dies?

Most Americans die in their house, in their car, or sorrounded by people they know making it easy to identify them. That's simply not the case for many illegal immigrants.

Take the story of No. 8. No 8. was an illegal immigrant who, along with 13 others, borded an SUV in Phoenix bound for St. Louis. During the night the driver crossed the center line, swerved, and flipped the vehicle. Seven people were thrown from the vehicle and eight died, No. 8 was among them.

The driver, Rigoberto Salas-Lopez, survived. He told authorities that he was paid $1000 to drive the illegal immigrants to Missouri.

No. 8's body was moved more than 300 miles to Salt Lake City where medical examiners took finger prints, photos and DNA samples. The information was sent to the Mexican consulate who fed it through a database. Nothing was learned. The process was repeated at the Guatemalan Consulate, but again no results materialized and No. 8's body remained unclaimed.

After six months, No. 8 was given to the San Juan Mortuary for burial. The county of San Juan paid $700 for the plot and the mortuary donated a coffin valued at $1000.

There were no tears, no prayers, and no ceremonies when No. 8 was put in the ground. All that remains of No. 8 is a simple marker that reads "unknown male".

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