Nature and Environment

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A Need for Border Order

7/23/2008 9:48:05 AM

Tags: Department of Homeland Security, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, US-Mexico border, border, wall, miles, fence, illegal immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security has found another way to show just how little it cares about nature.  It continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants out, even though the wall will endanger animals, cut apart Native American reservations and abandon wildlife refuges.

According to the New York Times, the number of illegal immigrants stopped at the border has fallen 17 percent this year after already declining 20 percent in 2007, but the government wants to keep that number dropping. The government believes that a wall is the only answer, even though things like security cameras and aggressive Border Patrol have been a major contributor to this decline. While a wall can prevent illegal immigrants from coming in, there is no way that it can completely stop immigration. Instead, the wall will prevent wildlife from moving back and forth from certain habitats, risking their chance of survival.

Three years ago the Supreme Court gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff the ability to veto anything that could prevent the wall from happening, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. As of June 13, 331 miles of fencing has already been completed, with another 339 to go.

Those 339 miles, running from the Colorado River to the New Mexico border, are the most critical. They contain a lot of national parks and isolated land that contribute to the survival of wildlife, which are native to only those areas in the U.S. The construction of the wall will inevitably destroy that wildlife, and because the Supreme Court refuses to revoke Chertoff’s power and to hear any petition by Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club, the construction will continue. To date, the Bush administration has cast aside 30 laws and regulations in order to complete the wall by the end of 2008. Ironically, right before Bush is out of office.



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