The politics of immigration and water in the east Coachella Valley were featured in a new segment on CNN.
The story, by CNN reporter Maeve Reston, points out how a the valley is a “place of contradictions” having lush resorts and The Coachella Music festival while also having some of the most impoverished areas of Southern California.
Farm workers, some legal residents and some not, live in makeshift mobile home parks that are not connected to the water and sewer systems that most people in this country take for granted. These residents are forced to draw more water from wells which, according to Congressman Raul Ruiz, “already have arsenic, chromium, selenium and other contaminants in the water. What you’re doing is you’re increasing the concentration of these contaminants in the well water that humans are consuming.”
Last year, Ruiz secured $7 million worth of U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to combat the issue – but he claims more money and attention is needed to solve the problem.
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