CBS newsman Scott Pelley, correspondent for 60 Minutes, did a segment on part of our Mexican Border called “The All-American Canal.” (Or as he described it, a “death trap.”)
Located in California, on the Mexican border, the canal provides irrigation for the Imperial Valley, where much of our winter fruit is grown.
Not only does it provide irrigation, but there are also 5 hydroelectric dams attached to it. (That’s good, right liberal greenies?)
The only catch: illegal aliens attempt to cross this canal, which is 85 miles long, 225 feet across, and 20 feet deep.
The water is, according to the segment, very cold, and flows 8 feet per second.
So far, 550 people have drowned attempting to cross it. (One tragic death was a border agent, who jumped in trying to save his dog. This was the ONLY death NOT attributed to border crossings, and should not be used as some sort of equal justification for the irresponsible actions of illegal aliens.)
These individuals were not Americans trying illegally to get into Mexico, but, illegal Mexican law-breakers trying to get to the U.S.
Dr. John Hunter, a self proclaimed “right wing guy,” who, despite being a “right wing guy,” (you know, ’cause right wing people have no feelings) has lobbied for safety features to be placed on the canal, was interviewed, saying this issue has become an “obsession” to him.
“This first picture is a little girl named Alexandra. And she drowned saving her older sister’s life,” Hunter said, pointing out pictures. “This is border agent Goldstein. He drowned trying to save his dog.”
“This is one small subset of the American canal. Each pushpin represents a person who drowned in this particular location,” Hunter added, showing Pelley an online map with virtual pushpins.
Asked how many pushpins – each representing a victim – there are, Hunter said, “There’s over 550 victims and those are the ones we know of.”
At this point, the producers decided to really personalize it. (Que up the sad music.)
60 Minutes based much of the segment on the life of illegal alien, Sergio Martinez, who was married to Stephanie, a legal naturalized citizen from Germany.
Tugging on the heart strings, showing a picture of Sergio and his child, she proceeded to describe themselves as living the “American dream.” (Sergio was employed illegally in the construction business.)
“Even though we don’t look so all-American, we really had an all-American family. We were having a mortgage, and a nice backyard and a tree house for the kids,” Martinez said.
Asked if they were living the American dream, Martinez said, “Yeah. It felt American to us.”
And she said her husband felt American.
Martinez built homes; his wife raised the children and taught Hebrew school on the side. In 2007, Martinez was pulled over for a traffic stop and the police discovered he was in the U.S. illegally. Martinez was deported to Mexico. And under U.S. law, there was practically no way for him to obtain legal status once he’d committed an immigration violation.
“He took matters into his own hand and came and took a bus to the border and called me from there that he was about to cross and that there was no one going to hold him from doing that,” Martinez remembered.
Asked what happened to her husband, Martinez said, “They caught him two times. And on his third try to cross, he drowned.”
So, Sergio crossed the U.S. border illegally at least, as far as we can tell from Stephanie, four times, the last ending in his death.
Are you out of hankies yet?
Mrs. Martinez took her frustrations to the Imperial Irrigation District, the board which operates the canal.
“Couldn’t we just put a few lines. Just anything like a buoy or something where people can grab onto. Deport them all, I don’t care, but just to put something up so people don’t have to die,” Martinez pleaded at a hearing of the Irrigation District.
One of the directors listening that day was Stella Mendoza, who’s been with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) for nine years.
“Is the IID supposed to save every individual that jumps into the canal? Is that my role as a director?” Mendoza asked.
Mendoza told “60 Minutes” that she worries that adding safety features like buoys, lines or ladders would give illegal immigrants a false sense of security.
Asked if she feels the canal is safe, Mendoza told Pelley, “The canal is intended to convey water to the Imperial Valley from the Colorado River. It’s not intended as a recreation and so….”
“We’re not talking about recreation here. We’re talking about people desperate to come into the United States and who are losing their lives in your canal,” Pelley remarked.
“I understand that. When an individual decides to cross the desert, decides to cross the mountains, decides to jump into the canal to swim across, they are taking their lives in their own hands. They have to be accountable for their actions,” Mendoza argued.
In 2007, the board decided to put “safety” ladders every 500 feet.
Sounds like a great idea. Except they were all on the American side.
An expert on drowning claimed “All-American Canal’s probably the most dangerous body of water in the United States.”
This expert, John Fletermeyer, of Florida International University, decided to install a safety device himself, without permission. The IID removed it, since, you know, it was illegal to do so.
“Why should the United States spend dollars on safety features in this canal when the people who are drowning in the canal, frankly, are criminals?” Pelley asked. “They should not be coming into the country.”
“Right. If they were serial murderers, it they were child molesters, I’m a right wing guy, I’d say ‘Let ’em, have at it, put the gators in the canal. You know, we’ll line it with mines, too, and I’ll help you set the fuses on the mines.’ But they’re not! You saw those pictures. Alejandra was a ten-year-old saving her 12-year-old sister, so they’re are not your hardened criminals,” Hunter said.
To add shock, SHOCK I SAY, to this segment, John Hunter is the brother of former Congressman Duncan Hunter, who was a key proponent supporting a double border fence in San Diego, which cut down illegal crossings and drug smuggling by 90%.
You really have to watch it to get the in-your- face, bleeding-heart, liberal, Americans-should-feel-guilty propaganda it attempts to convey.
What part of ILLEGAL don’t these people, aliens and American chumps alike, understand?
You don’t have to be an American to understand the concept of personal responsibility.
And it doesn’t take a drowning expert to realize that you can drown in water.
Attempting this crossing, illegal or not, is like jumping into a tank with hungry sharks.
This is a crime! You can not just come here as you please.
These illegals are not risking life and limb due to political persecution, swimming 90 miles from Castro’s Cuba, looking for asylum.
They are breaking our laws because they want money and expect free health-care. Greed motivates them and the companies which hire them.
That said, screw the safety devices.
Fill the canal with piranhas.
(Thanks to a friend for e-mailing this tip.)