WASHINGTON — Poverty, poor health and plenty of school dropouts have put the San Joaquin Valley's 20th Congressional District dead last in a new national scorecard that ranks the overall well-being of residents.
Even notoriously grim Appalachia fares better than the congressional district that sweeps in Fresno, Kings and Kern counties, the study, which was released Wednesday, shows. The assessment of health, education and income ranks the district 436th out of 436 districts nationwide.
Hmm. Any guess at what dynamic might be in play here that would cause such a low standard of living?
Sure, the San Joaquin Valley is California farm land, but that alone would not cause abject poverty and low educational and medical standards.
Let me see...I just can't seem to put a finger on it. What could the reason be?
In 2003 in Stockton, California, 70 percent of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital's maternity ward were anchor babies, and 45 percent of Stockton children under age six are Latino (up from 30 percent in 1993). In 1994, 74,987 anchor babies in California hospital maternity units cost $215 million and constituted 36 percent of all Medi-Cal births. Now they account for substantially more than half....
Cristobal Silverio emigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton, Calif., in 1997 to work as a fruit picker.
He brought with him his wife, Felipa, and three children, 19, 12 and 8 – all illegals. When Felipa gave birth to her fourth child, daughter Flor, the family had what is referred to as an "anchor baby" – an American citizen by birth who provided the entire Silverio clan a ticket to remain in the U.S. permanently.
But Flor was born premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator and cost the San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, oldest daughter Lourdes married an illegal alien gave birth to a daughter, too. Her name is Esmeralda. And Felipa had yet another child, Cristian.
The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding for the family. Flor gets $600 a month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. While the Silverios earned $18,000 last year picking fruit, they picked up another $12,000 for their two "anchor babies."
In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America's prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
In addition, the report says, "many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease."
You mean that an invasion of
Of course this study fails to mention the
"We have significant issues in the Valley that reflect rural inequality," said Adela de la Torre, a University of California at Davis professor and adviser for the new study. "The Valley has always been an area that's underserved."
Oh Adela? And what are those issues? I guess the taxpayers just don't serve the San Joaquin Valley enough...
"We have difficult challenges; there is no doubt," acknowledged Rep. Jim Costa, the Fresno Democrat who has represented the 20th Congressional District since 2005.
Costa, echoing de la Torre, stressed that "we lag in terms of dollars spent in the Valley, compared to other parts of the United States." The non-partisan Congressional Research Service likewise noted in a December 2005 report requested by Costa and other Valley lawmakers that the region "received fewer federal funds" than other parts of California or the United States overall.
Yup. That's exactly it. We simply don't sink enough money into Central California. There are no other causes. None at all.