The Imperial Irrigation District board should be commended for its concern about the safety of undocumented immigrants attempting to swim across the All-American Canal. Nobody wants to see another drowning in those treacherous waters. Installing lifelines might very well be the answer.
The question is: Who should do it? Is the safety of illegal immigrants an IID responsibility? Or does Mexico have some responsibility here? Or the United States?
A few hundred thousand dollars for lifelines across the canal would be a drop in the bucket for either of the two nations. It's a full bucket for Imperial County, where unemployment is high and wages are low.
Mr. John Hunter, who proposed this lifesaving project, deserves respect from both sides of the border for the compassion he has shown for undocumented immigrants. He was, of course, unforgivably rude in coming to our county as a guest and criticizing our duly elected IID officials. This is a right normally reserved for those of us who elected those officials. But rude or not, we should not ignore the problem Mr. Hunter has pointed out, the problem of lives lost in the All-American Canal.