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Probe: June 4, 2002

June 04, 2002

QUESTION: We were just passing through El Centro on our way home to Colorado when my sister-in-law went into premature labor. The baby was coming so fast we called 911. An ambulance took her to the hospital. The baby was born 15 minutes after my sister-in-law arrived at the hospital.

We are stuck and in big trouble. The baby weighed only 3 and a half pounds. It's too small to breathe on its own and it looks like it will be in the hospital for a month. I think the hospital will fly the baby to Children's Hospital in San Diego.

We don't know what to do. We had barely enough money to get home. We don't have enough to stay in El Centro for a month. We can't leave my sister-in-law and her baby here. We have no money and no place to go. A night at the Ramada Inn last night cost $90.

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We stayed at the hospital all day. It was too hot to stay outside. At the hospital a woman told me to call PROBE. There are five of us, seven with the mother and baby. Help! — Stranded, El Centro

The Salvation Army provided vouchers to put the stranded family up at the Executive Inn. We don't know how long The Salvation Army will spring for the rooms but sometimes you have to live one day at a time.

QUESTION: In response to the PROBE reader who wanted to know why the principal at De Anza Junior High School in Calexico had not removed the two pregnant teens from schools: what does he or she expect? Does he or she want the girls kicked out of school? Then what?

As much as we would like to ignore it, teen pregnancy happens. As much as we want to hide it, it's there. The best thing for those teen parents, and for us as taxpayers, is for them to stay in school, graduate and become productive citizens. — Realistic, Holtville

We have no words of wisdom here. We know that becoming a single mom at 14 is not good for the young mother, who is still a child, and not good for the baby. And it's tough on the young fathers who will be hounded for child support for 18 years. What a way to start the future.

While nobody wants to mistreat the girls, accepting the pregnancies without comment may seem like approval to other girls. How did we get in this quandary? Maybe it's something we need to talk about. On the other hand, it's a subject that makes us all choke up.

CRUISING AGAIN — After your newspaper's splendid article the flow of illegal aliens rafting down the New River ceased. Now it looks like the river rafting is under way again. I live just down the road (Brockman) and I check out the New River at Brockman regularly.

Sunday morning there were two new plastic rafts and a couple of inner tubes discarded on the river bank and hundreds of black plastic bags.

I know the Border Patrol will not force its officers to go into the river to pull out the undocumented visitors. I don't blame the officers for refusing to go into that cesspool but there ought to be a way to stop this invasion unless it's the government's policy to let them through to provide farm labor. — Skeptical Neighbor, rural Seeley

It could be the government's policy to let some illegal aliens get through. Some big corporations with political clout depend on a steady flow of cheap labor to cross the border.

If the Border Patrol is trying to keep out humble farm workers from the Mexican states of Nyarit and Jalisco, we don't have much confidence that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service can protect us from crafty, college-educated terrorists sneaking into the country.

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