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Voice: What made IID board switch on lifelines?

June 27, 2001

What happened at the Imperial Irrigation District that changed a 4 to 1 board vote in favor of lifelines for immigants crossing the All-American Canal to a 4 to 1 vote against?

In the past month the media has been reporting a binational (Mexico and USA) urgent interest to save lives. This newspaper had pointed several articles on this human issue.

1. The 14 survivors of Yuma County being allowed to remain and even jobs for them. 2. In Cochise County the Board of Supervisors voted to pay for water stations. 3. The Border Patrol has pledged to do more to save lives. 4. The recent border governors' conference gave as much concern to the deaths of immigrants as they did to free trade. 5. At President Bush and President Fox's last meeting, saving lives took priority. 6. And this weekend international television was in Ocotillo to cover the plight of volunteers' (mostly from outside of the Imperial Valley) efforts to collect and place drinking water in the desert. How Christian!

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Yet, with all this publicity of the trend to save lives, our IID Board (four) of Directors felt the good people who they represent did not want to have temporary lifelines placed now and then wait to see the short-time results.

DANIEL SANTILLAN

Calexico

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