Successful border enforcement saves habitat, visitor security on National Park Service land

A stroll to Quitobaquito Spring, a desert oasis and the crown jewel of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona, was forbidden a decade ago, the victim of a border out of control. Even a few years ago, visitors would be allowed only if accompanied by Park Service rangers armed with military-style rifles. The park’s superintendent at the time, Lee Baiza, wondered whether visitors would ever be able to walk to the oasis alone. Fast-forward to 2017, and a solitary walk is not only possible, but it’s also a delight. It’s a chance to be alone with a few ducks, turtles and the endangered pupfish that makes its home in the oasis and the spring that feeds it. Organ Pipe is one of the success stories of the border, where a combination of stiffer enforcement, changing migration patterns and a new spirit of cooperation between federal agencies has produced gains unimaginable just a few years ago. “The park is open, it’s absolutely gorgeous, it’s safe,” Brent Raines, the superintendent, told The Washington Times in an interview earlier this year, recounting the trajectory that took Organ Pipe from ground zero for the border wars back to a national gem. It’s a scene that has played out across Arizona, where the federal government for years fought a battle that pitched land managers against Homeland Security, with smugglers emerging as the chief victors — and the public lands the losers. The U.S.-Mexico border lies several hundred feet away, the dividing line amounting to a few strands of barbed wire and metal barriers to stop cars and trucks from barreling across. Tractor-trailers speed along the highway on the Mexican side. It’s easy to see why, for more than a decade, this spot was considered prime crossing territory for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The monument, run by the National Park Service, was a beautiful but barren landscape with little infrastructure to stop anyone determined to cross. Indeed, the park for years fought the Border Patrol’s efforts to stiffen the defenses, arguing that barriers, roads and radar towers would ruin the wilderness that the park was chartered to protect. But the illegal immigrants were doing a great job of injuring that wilderness on their own. At the worst point, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and smugglers crossed the southern Arizona borders each month, cutting trails on foot or barreling through in vehicles. Known as kamikaze runs, the vehicles would drive until they broke down and the smugglers would bail out, leaving the broken-down cars or trucks to rust away. They left mountains of trash in their wake, too. Ironwood National Forest, deeper into the U.S., would haul out as much as 50,000 pounds of trash each year. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge counted twice that. Forest fires started by smugglers or migrants burned the lands.

You get the idea…  This article touches on a side-effect of illegal immigration rarely discussed, and totally ignored by Democrats and the dominantly liberal mainstream media; the damage and cost to the environment by the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who cross our borders each year.  I spent some time at Ft. Huachuca, AZ which is in Cochise County; ground zero for this issue.  I saw first hand the garbage left by illegals…and saw them literally run through a friend’s yard as we were enjoying a Sunday BBQ on his deck.  Anyway, to read the rest of this eye-opening article, click on the text above.

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