Friday, October 26, 2007

Michael Chertoff Sucks

Two days ago, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that he was ignoring all sorts of environmental laws to build a border fence across Arizona's San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

To make this more absurd, Chertoff actually invokes environmentalism to bolster his point, claiming that immigrants are damaging the environment through their garbage.

Look, I was on the Arizona-Sonora border this summer. I was on multiple ranches immediately on both sides. I saw the trails immigrants use. Is there trash? Sure and it sucks. Is this trash a major environmental problem? I don't know that I would go that far. It does make riparian areas kind of unpleasant. Sometimes they contaminate water through human waste. Is it an equally environmentally damaging as the wall? Uh, no.

No one on the border even wants the damn wall. It exists to make Republicans in the heartland who have never been close to the border feel secure that this will remain a white nation. Even Republicans on the border oppose it. Not only will it do nothing to stop immigration, but it prevents wildlife from travelling along its natural habitats. The US-Mexico border serves as the northern limit of many species habitat, including the jaguar. With environmental protections in Mexico limited, the US land may be necessary for maintaining populations for these species.

Homeland Security has the right to do anything to the environment to do their business. Among the laws HS is ignoring are the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Waste Disposal Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

And for what? To make white people in Nebraska and Alabama feel better about themselves.

Via Glenn Hurowitz at Grist. Hurowitz has been writing other interesting posts about environmentalism and the border as well.