While he may be one of the most controversial figures in our nation, there was little controversial in the words of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft when he spoke in the Calexico area Tuesday.
Addressing Border Patrol agents and local, federal and Mexican officials near the All-American Canal, Ashcroft promised to bring a Border Patrol desert rescue team to the El Centro sector to try to make a dramatic cut in the number of illegal immigrants dying in our area's deserts and canals. He has similar promises for other areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, including for our neighbors in Yuma. Such teams already exist in the Border Patrol's San Diego and Tucson sectors.
Ashcroft's nomination to become attorney general quickly became mired in controversy connected to his religious, political and racial views, and that controversy has not subsided totally. Still, it is hard to argue with a man who has a mission of saving lives, which was the goal Ashcroft stated in his address Tuesday. Too many people are dying in our valley and beyond for the relatively minor crime of crossing the border illegally. Time and time again we have said something needs to be done to stop the deaths, and Ashcroft is proposing doing something.