The Senate may vote on HR 6061 on Monday. (Funding? Eh, who cares?)
Time is short. Contact your Senator and tell them no. Phone numbers and email for your Senator
Because it's for national security -- and of course nothing can ever be more important than national security -- the Secure Fence Act will bulldoze through nearly 40 years of laudable laws: the National Environmental Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, California coastal regulations, the Federal Water Pollution Act, the Clean Air Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It's like they never existed.
If you want to see what 700 miles of this dead zone will look like, go check out San Diego, where a shorter fence has gone up. Jim Pugh of the San Diego Audubon Society and some other folks spent a couple of days last week on their knees in the dirt where bulldozers are shaving the land for the last of the 14 miles of fencing that starts at the ocean. They were trying to dig up and move out of harm's way, one at a time, some of the last surviving specimens of a plant called the Baja bird bush.
What they won't be able to save is the wildlife, sea life and plant life that will die when the feds cut off the tops of two mesas and dump the dirt -- more than 2 million cubic yards of it -- into a canyon called Smuggler's Gulch. For decades, illegal immigrants have crossed here. The feds want to fill up the gulch with dirt and build patrol roads and fences on top of it. But then the rain will carve gullies and send muck into the Tijuana River estuary that has taken years and millions of dollars to clean up. "They're going to be spending tens of millions of dollars to destroy nature," says Pugh, where "a good single fence ... would do pretty much everything a double or triple fence would do."
Morrison's take on a 700-mile wall securing a 2000-mile border:
That's like putting your faith in half a condom.
Indeed. But the wall will have its effect:
The Center for Biological Diversity condemned a proposal that is before the U.S. Senate to build a massive series of fences and walls over 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, calling the plan a colossal environmental disaster and declaring that it will not stem the tide of illegal immigration.
"The only living things the walls won't stop are people," said Michael Finkelstein, Executive Director with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Jaguars, Mexican Gray Wolves, Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, and other endangered species need to cross their borderland habitat often, and this wall will crush their ability to survive."
Proposed border construction projects will severely harm some of the Southwest's most significant lands and wildlife habitat, including wildlife refuges, national parks, forests and wilderness areas. More border walls further damage already-stressed wildlife and places, such as the Cactus Pygmy Owl and Sonoran Pronghorn in Arizona; Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard and Peninsular Ranges Bighorn Sheep in California; Jaguar and Mexican Gray Wolves in New Mexico; and the Rio Grande River, Ocelot, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. Walls harm wildlife by blocking critical migration corridors and destroying valuable habitat.
Boeing is licking its chops at the thought of its role in building the new DMZ. (thanks to Simplify) The more the momentum builds, the harder this will be to stop.
Tell the Senate to quit play acting, stop wasting money, stop degrading what's left of our environment, and get serious about immigration reform. Our goal should be to someday have a border with our friends to the south that resembles that with Canada, not a cordon sanitaire of sterilized ground and machine gun turrets. We are heading in the wrong direction.