Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Our Opinion: Help with border costs needed

February 07, 2001

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.

Advertisement

The cost of dealing with illegal immigration in Imperial County is only going to rise in the foreseeable future. People are going to illegally cross the border in search of better lives, and some will not survive, particularly during our scorching summers.

Perhaps the county again needs to send a message that help is needed and remind federal officials they are not living up to their responsibilities. We urge our state representatives, Assemblyman Dave Kelley and state Sen. Jim Battin, to lend strong voices of support. Congressman Duncan Hunter also needs to speak out for the Valley and his constituents in San Diego regarding such matters.

Change cannot wait. The border will continue to be a busy place. There seems to be little that will prevent people from risking their lives to cross through the Imperial Valley. We need hope and help in dealing with this problem.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles
|
|
|