Parklands near the U.S.-Mexican border have been tainted with illegal immigration and drug smuggling, causing officials to close down camping sites from visitors.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service released a report citing that it was too dangerous for citizens to travel and camp at certain park sites, such as the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. They have also confirmed two species have been put on the endangered list as a result of the immigration chaos.
Many of the parks are not only littered with trash and crushed plants, but also have been carved out with unofficial roads and paths from smugglers. Fires started by illegal immigrants have burned hundreds of acres of forestry, and heaps of destroyed vehicles and discarded drugs have been recovered from numerous sites.
The report, which has been an ongoing study since 2011, contains the following statement from the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, an area distraught from illegal immigration:
“Past research of vehicle use in off-road areas have demonstrated significant impacts to soils, plants, and wildlife. Many of the direct and indirect effects currently occurring on the refuge are yet to be quantified. Direct impact concerns include: soil compaction, increased soil erosion, damage to soil crusts, altered hydrological processes, disruption of migration patterns for Sonoran pronghorn and other wildlife, wildlife mortality, damage to vegetation from vehicle impacts, damage to cultural resources and degradation of wilderness values. Indirect impact concerns include: alteration to the entire biotic community within CPNWR.”
According to a testimony from a ranking Border Patrol agent at a Senate committee hearing last week, recently erected fencing in certain regions has cut down illegal immigration crossings by 94%. The agent claims the cut down has “actually allowed for the rejuvenation of areas that had previously been devastated due to heavy illegal pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”
The case also enables President Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the border to curb illegal crossings. Two reports released under the under the Freedom of Information Act state a wall may be less hazardous to the ecosystems and habitats of flora and fauna compared to the destruction caused by illegal trespassers loitering those areas.
H/T: Washington Examiner
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