Recurring headlines since the election of President Trump in 2016 have tried to hammer the message home that a wall at the Mexican border would pose serious environmental concerns. Some recent offerings:
- “2,500 Scientists Warn Against the Border Wall’s Huge Environmental Cost,” is the title of an article at Inverse.com.
- “Stanford biologists discuss border barrier’s potential ecological damage,” reads another headline on Stanford University’s website.
- “Border wall would kill natural treasures and change the environment,” The Hill blared in April.
And there have been many more.
It’s the end of the world as we know it
The gist of these articles can be well represented by the purple prose to be found in the Inverse.com article, to wit:
In a move straight out of a science fiction horror film, the US government has ignored scientists concerned about the project’s immeasurable cost to the environment. It has revealed the bleakness in the hearts of some frustrated scientists, but it has also emboldened others to speak up in the name of the plants and animals who can’t speak for themselves.
Less, er, poetic, but just as alarmist is The Hill, declaring that “Wall-building also means consuming materials, deforestation, pollution, increased carbon emissions and noise that disturbs wildlife — all in a unique river ecosystem containing biodiversity found nowhere else on Earth.”
Illegal immigration is green nightmare
What is most galling about these spurious warnings of pending ecological disaster along the Mexican border is the long-standing overwhelming evidence that mass immigration has been an environmental disaster for the entire United States as a whole.
Let’s stay with the border area for a while. The anti-immigration group NumbersUSA reported in 2011 that in the areas heavily trafficked by illegal aliens entering the U.S. (quoting the article directly):
- An estimated more than 2,000 tons of trash is discarded annually in Arizona’s borderlands.
- In 2002 in southern Arizona, illegal aliens were suspected of having caused at least eight major wildfires that burned 68,413 acres (Illegal Immigrants Tied to Costly Wildfires Associated Press, Dateline Tucson, Arizona, September 9, 2002).
- According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, mass illegal immigration is a likely contributing factor in the dramatic 79 percent decline in the U.S. Sonoran pronghorn population between 2000 and 2002.
As for the rest of the country, the massive influx of illegal migrants into the U.S. for decades has led to increased congestion in towns and cities, increased pollution, and increasing urban sprawl.
Another thing that comes with illegal aliens is cheap labor, the most important fuel for some of the biggest polluters in our nation today: factory farms.
The environmental group the Sierra Club reports:
Thirty years ago, there were 22,000 farmers in North Carolina raising 2 million pigs. Most of those were pasture raised, in a state where whole-hog barbecue is sacred. Now, thanks to an industrial takeover that took root in the 1970s and ’80s, there are just over 2,300 farmers raising over 9 million hogs, with 2.3 million in Duplin County alone. Many of those farmers are contract growers working for corporate food companies.
The article goes on to note the extensive damage to local surface water, ground water, air quality and quality of life for local residents since these industrial farming operations took over.
Yet, amazingly, this same Sierra Club fervently endorses open borders for the United States, despite the fact that the industrial farms the organization decries serve as a magnet for illegal labor.
Michael Carolan in his 2014 book “Cheaponomics: The High Cost of Low Prices” reported that “more than six out of every 10 farm workers are undocumented immigrants.”
Carolan states that illegal aliens are ideal workers for these large industrial farms because “by nature of their ‘undocumented’ status, [it is] incredibly easy to socialize costs on to [them] as they lack many of the basic legal protections that come with citizenship.”
Despite all this damage within the interior of our nation, the Sierra Club in June slammed construction of the wall, saying “[t]he human and environmental costs of the border wall and increased militarization are immense.”
Political expediency over principle
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reporter Paul Mulshine wrote in 2004 about the takeover of the Sierra Club by open borders advocates. He tells the story of a liberal club member, Ben Zuckerman, who was “a professor at U.C.L.A. and a member of the Sierra Club’s board.”
Mulshine told how Zuckerman was “fond of noting that just 50 years ago the county in which he lives, Los Angeles, was the leading agricultural producer in the United States. Now it is paved from end to end – and it’s still growing.”
For his work advocating for immigration restraints to thwart this growing sprawl, Zuckerman was branded a “right wing racist” by hostile forces within the club.
Zuckerman learned that with “knee-jerk liberals” principles are used only when they are needed for the moment. When they are not useful, they are discarded.
“The whole environmental movement has been taken over by the environmental justice people,” he sadly lamented.