- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Question of the Day
Illegal immigration is an environmental issue for Shela A. McFarlin, who has seen firsthand the tons of trash dumped in the fragile Arizona desert by border-crossers.
Illegal aliens have turned parts of the Southwest desert into environmental disaster areas — dumping an estimated 25 million pounds of trash in the Arizona desert, carving out hundreds of miles of roads through the wilderness and destroying thousands of acres of habitat with cooking fires that have gone awry.
“The desert environment is fairly sensitive, so we’re concerned about the damage to habitat, plants and animals,” said Miss McFarlin, who authored the Bureau of Land Management’s 2006 report on environmental damage from illegal immigration. “It’s not at all inviting to see toilet paper, fecal matter and backpacks by the thousands. Not at all.”
Once the immigrants, both legal and illegal, arrive, the scenario isn’t much rosier. Immigration is now the primary factor in U.S. population growth, which drives such environmental woes as housing sprawl, pollution and traffic.
But don’t expect your local Green Party activist to grab a lawn chair and join the Minutemen border patrols any time soon: The mainstream environmental movement is firmly and uniformly agnostic on the issue.
“We’ve never taken a position pro or con on immigration,” Sierra Club spokesman Eric Antebi said.
“We don’t have the expertise to deal with that [illegal immigration],” Wilderness Society spokesman Ben Beach said.
These responses exasperate environmentalists such as Dick Lamm, the former Democratic governor of Colorado and a 30-year member of the Sierra Club. Mr. Lamm broke ranks with the movement years ago by insisting that a responsible environmental policy has to include population and immigration controls.
He is among the most prominent of a small-but-hardy band of environmentalists who have tried for years to push the movement toward an anti-immigration stance. So far, they haven’t had much luck.
“The environmental movement refuses to acknowledge that immigration and population are environmental issues,” Mr. Lamm said.
Why? Politics, he said.
“The environmental movement has gone politically correct,” Mr. Lamm said. “They’re committing political malpractice by ignoring population.”
But Jenny Neeley, Southwest representative for Defenders of Life, said her group hasn’t taken a stance on immigration reform in Congress because “I don’t think we’re knowledgeable enough to say, ‘This will stop the illegal crossings.’”
Faced with a difficult choice, critics said, the environmental movement has abandoned its primary mission — protecting the planet — rather than deviate from the liberal establishment.
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq