***Update: The border fence clears a Senate hurdle***
U.S.-Mexico border fence may harm animal migration
A plan to fence off a third of the U.S. border to stop illegal immigration from Mexico may harm migration routes used by animals including rare birds and jaguars, environmentalists and U.S. authorities warn.
The House of Representatives passed a bill this month authorizing the construction of about 700 miles (1,120km) of double fencing along the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border, which was crossed by more than one million illegal immigrants last year.
The proposal, which the Senate is expected to vote on in coming days, seeks to build continuous barriers separated by an access road for patrol vehicles on long stretches of the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Environmentalists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wardens say the barrier would disrupt the migration of scores of species from jaguars to hawks and humming birds along a wildlife corridor linking northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest known as the “Sky Islands.”
The chain of 40 mountain ranges links the northern range of tropical species such as the jaguar and the parrot in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains, and the southern limit of temperate animals such as the black bear and the Mexican wolf in the U.S. Rocky Mountains.
“Bisecting the area with an impermeable barrier such as a double reinforced wall or fence could really have a devastating effect on these species,” said Matt Skroch, a wildlife biologist and executive director of the environmental non-profit group Sky Island Alliance in Tucson, Arizona.
“If they build it, we could really say goodbye to the future of jaguars in the United States,” he added.
Yes, the greenies are more worried about potential impact on jaguars than they are about the real, vast damage caused by illegal border-crossers to the land and wildlife at the border right now. Where are the environmentalists worried about this and this:
Meanwhile, lawlessness at the border continues:
A National Guard unit assigned to Operation Jump Start observed a vehicle attempt to drive through the International Border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Yesterday, at 8:30 a.m., the National Guard unit was patrolling the border area in a helicopter when the pilot and Border Patrol agent observer spotted a white-colored vehicle attempting to drive over a portion of the primary border fence. The fence had been cut away from its supports by a blowtorch. Once cut, the vehicle then rammed the fence and pushed it down. While attempting to use the downed fence as a ramp, the vehicle became stuck. Witnesses in Mexico reported upwards of twenty individuals exiting the vehicle and running back into Mexico.
Units from the Tijuana Police Department arrived on scene and seized the blowtorch equipment that had been used to cut the fence. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents arrived to take custody of the vehicle used in the failed attempt. Record checks were conducted on the vehicle’s plates and it was determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen. The vehicle was taken to the San Ysidro Port of Entry where searches by K-9 and non-intrusive devices were performed. These searches yielded negative results and the vehicle was turned over to the San Diego Police Department.
This incident serves as a stark reminder that smugglers of human cargo will go to great lengths utilizing any tool at their disposal to further their criminal enterprise with total disregard for human life.
Or jaguars or hawks or three-toed sloths.