DHS’ New Excuse For No Border Fence: It Threatens Wildlife – OpEd


Despite years of discussion and planning, there is still is no security fence at the U.S.-Mexico border, and if the Obama administration has run out of excuses for failing to secure the border, a group of government-paid scientists appear to have delivered a whopper for them to use, according to proponents of border security and immigration reform.

According to a top public-interest watchdog group, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will receive unsolicited advice from a group of U.S. government scientists that claim fencing along the Mexican border threatens the black bear population.

“The esteemed researchers recently published a study warning that the border wall erected to protect the country from illegal immigration and drug smuggling [would be] an obstacle that blocks bears in migration. This may threaten the black bear population in parts of Arizona, they say. The findings were published recently in a science research journal so it didn’t get much publicity until a mainstream newspaper picked it up this week,” according to a Judicial Watch blog.

The New York Times goes into considerable detail about how the probe was conducted, mainly by using pieces of barbed wire to capture genetic samples of “foraging” bears. This helped scientists track various bear populations in Arizona. The population density of the border bears was substantially lower than the bears living farther north, which had a wider habitat that was less vulnerable to development, the researchers found.

“The bear study is simply the latest of many to make a case against the southern border fence in the name of preserving wildlife. A number of others have made similar arguments, some even claiming that the barrier will lead to the extinction of certain species of wildlife. One example is a University of Texas study that found more than 300 species of amphibian, reptile, and mammals are threatened by the border barrier,” states the Judicial Watch blog.

Another study accuses the U.S. government of ignoring scientific and historical evidence of the border fence’s negative effects to wildlife and conservation lands. A fence is slated to traverse important ecological areas, including the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary, according to the university newspaper.

Other studies, less publicized by the mainstream media, have exposed how the constant traffic of illegal immigration (where there is no fence) has destroyed hundreds of acres of national forests and their habitat. Illegal immigrants have devastated national parks by leaving mountains of trash and human waste, with recurring fires and by despoiling natural springs and vandalizing historic sites. The migrants have also created damaging illegal trails and roads that destroy sensitive and federally protected vegetation.

Judicial Watch’s blog entry concludes that the bear researchers will conveniently omit this sort of information when they meet with DHS officials and other state and federal agencies to “generate innovative solutions” that take bears into consideration when border security is discussed. They want the well-being of all large carnivores to be considered when crafting border security policies.

“Apparently no one told these scientists that the Obama administration has place the border fence project on hold,” said former NYPD police detective Sid Franes. “They decided to go with a so-called virtual fence using CCTV cameras, alarms and other technology. But after a billion dollars flushed down the government toilet, that too has been suspended.”

Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

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