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On the night of Feb. 27, Teresa Todd listened as a Border Patrol agent read off her Miranda rights, something intimately familiar to her as the city attorney for Marfa, Texas, as well as the county attorney for Jeff Davis County. Except this time, she was the accused, and she wasn't sure what she had done.
Earlier that evening, a trio of young Central American migrants waved her down while she was driving on a West Texas interstate. All three—Carlos, Francisco, and Esmeralda—were limping, she says, suffering from exhaustion and dehydration after making the hazardous trek across the southern border. But one looked gravely ill.
Esmeralda "could barely stand," Todd tells Reason. "The color of her skin, the way she looked, the way her eyes were glossed over, I literally thought she was going to pass out at any minute. It was very clear she needed immediate medical attention."
She invited the three to warm up in her car while she phoned for help, calling, among others, a Border Patrol lawyer. A sheriff's deputy soon pulled up behind her. Agents from Border Patrol followed, who then Mirandized her, put her in the back of their vehicle, and told her she could be charged "with transporting or harboring illegal aliens," according to Todd.
Baffled, she tells Reason that she was "just trying to help," particularly as Esmeralda appeared decreasingly lucid.
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