By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Making it safer for illegals to enter California
Placeholder Image
It is illegal to enter the United States without going through the proper channels.

And it is the right of sovereign nations to protect their borders.

So how come a local government agency is undermining both the legal immigration process and the security of our borders by reducing the risk to those who want to break this nation's laws and enter this country illegally?

The short answer is they don't like bad publicity directed at them by "60 Minutes" which is apparently a higher authority on securing our borders than the federal government.

California's Imperial Irrigation District has spent $1.1 million to bolt 105 safe crossing lines across the 82-mile All-American Canal on the U.S.-Mexico border to help reduce the chance of illegal immigrants drowning in the 25 to 30 mph current. For good measure, they installed 1,414 bilingual signs reading "Warning: Dangerous Water" along the canal bank.

Up until the "60 Minutes" segment that noted more than 500 people have drowned since 1942 including 12 in 2009 the district declined to do nothing. It made sense as all they would be doing was encouraging non-residents to break United States law.

But it isn't good PR when people were slamming a district board member - a one Stella Mendoza - who was quoted on camera conceding more people would die if nothing was done. A lot of people who apparently believe it is morally bankrupt for an irrigation district not to help people break federal law were inundating the local agency.

So naturally the only thing they could do was install lifelines to help illegal immigrants cross safely into the United States.

It is reminiscent of the state of California's response when a cry and hue was raised over illegal immigrants getting struck by vehicles as they ran across busy freeways near the border. That prompted Caltrans to post signs of families running on freeways near the border complete with lane closures to make it safer for illegal immigrants to flee authorities.

It is true the people killed in the canal aren't drug smugglers. And they are without a doubt heading north seeking either a better life or a way to support families or themselves. And - as one commentator noted - they are "simply" chasing the American Dream.

But here's the thing. Anyone has a right to chase the American Dream as long as they do it legally. That also includes non-residents of this country.

It shouldn't be a concern of local agencies that the death toll goes up in a treacherous canal on the border when the Border Patrol cracks down elsewhere as they did in the San Diego area in 1998 regarding land coverings. That's when a record 31 people died in the canal.

Those who cross illegally into the United States seeking a better life aren't just taking shortcuts to gain the benefits of American citizenship on their own terms but they are also committing an illegal act.

It is a tragedy people die breaking the law including those who do so to gain illegal entry into this country.

Risking their life is a choice they are making. These are not people who are being prosecuted personally or are fleeing a totalitarian régime. They are making decisions based on their own wants - and needs - to do an illegal act. All illegal acts have risks and consequences.

We do not owe those who wish to violate this country's borders any additional protection from their wanton decision to break our laws.

A bit cold? Perhaps.

But the operative words here are "illegal immigrants" and "United States' sovereign rights as a nation."

There should be no capitulation to lawlessness just because voices - including many from other countries - demand that somehow we have a lower standard of security so illegal immigrants can break our laws with less of a risk to themselves in a world where other countries have the right to secure their own borders.