Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't Let Jaguars Fall Victim to Border Control: Amendment Put Forth To the Immigration Bill Would Address Many of These Issues: How to Support It

From another group. Important to read and support:

Illegal immigration -- and America's efforts to control it --
has taken a heavy toll on America's border wildlife. But this
week we have a chance to do something to protect the jaguars, wolves
and other wildlife along our borders.

The Senate is now considering its immigration bill. Please call your
Senators and urge them to support wildlife-sensitive border security:

About half of the land along the Mexican border and a quarter of the
land along the Canadian border are federal and tribal lands. These
areas include national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests and
wilderness. Jaguars, the highly endangered Sonoran pronghorn, desert
tortoises and other imperiled wildlife all make their home in these
beautiful and often remote places.

Unfortunately, Border Patrol activities and illegal crossings have
severely damaged these sensitive areas in ways that could take decades
to repair.

A decade ago, the Border Patrol increased enforcement efforts in urban
areas, shifting undocumented border crossings into more remote areas.
These crossings and efforts to stop them -- have serious impacts for
sensitive desert habitat and the wildlife that needs it to survive.

* Trails and roads carved by illegal immigrants can destroy
sensitive vegetation and wildlife habitat. The fragile desert
soils and plants could take over a century to recover.

* Trash and human waste left behind during illegal border
crossings affect soil and water quality. Abandoned vehicles are
expensive to remove and towing them causes additional damage.

* Similarly, low-level helicopter flights by the Border Patrol
disturb wildlife and habitat areas. Off-road vehicle patrols
also damage sensitive regions vital to local wildlife. And U.S.
road, light, and fence-building projects disturb wildlife,
destroy habitat and shift animal migratory patterns.

Senators Craig Thomas (R-WY), John Kyl (R-AZ), Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have offered an amendment to the immigration bill that would address many of these issues, and Defenders is urging wildlife supporters to support it.

Help support responsible border control efforts. The Senate could vote
on the immigration bill any minute, so please call your Senators now
(if they don't answer, please leave a message).

Thanks for standing up for sensible border security and responsible
management of our country's borderlands and the precious
wildlife that lives there.


Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

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