The numbers are staggering. Illegal immigration is costing Imperial County more than $5 million a year. We cannot afford such costs and it is about time the federal government took its responsibility for the immigration issue.
There is little argument that illegal immigration is a federal issue, that the border is a federal concern. The border fences and ports are federally operated and maintained and manned by federal agents. Captured illegal immigrants go into federal custody and are dealt with by a U.S. magistrate.
So it is the federal government that should be replenishing every dollar Imperial County spends as a result of illegal immigration. The federal government should pay to bury those who manage to cross the border and who die while trying to traverse the county's desert or waterways. The federal government should pay local hospitals for the care of illegal immigrants.
Imperial County entities, and other entities on the southwest border, now fund such services. Those in need of medical aid deserve our help, and the dead must be buried. But our county and others must have help to continue providing such services. The county sometime back declared a state of emergency existed because of the costs associated with illegal immigration. The federal government has done little in response.