The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has been going back and forth on the issue of lifelines across the All-American Canal in recent months, and frankly, we don't blame the board. This is a heart-wrenching issue.
No one wants people to die who are merely trying to get into this country to earn a decent living for themselves and their families. Yes, it is an illegal act, but it should not carry the death penalty with it.
Then again, we and many others think stringing lifelines across the canal might actually encourage people to try to cross the waterway to get into this country, and that might result in even more deaths as people with a false sense of security plunge into the canal's treacherous waters.
A few months ago the board voted to install the lifelines, with conditions such as no great expense to IID and that the proponents of the plan pay for the insurance for the setup. Then the board vacillated before it officially reconsidered last week and reversed itself, coming out against a lifeline setup. The vote was 4-1 against a lifeline system, and directors cited concerns such as potentially increased illegal immigration meaning more deaths and greater liability for the district.