It appears the threat of deportation and/or arrest has put a chill into illegals pouring over the southern border in parts of Arizona. It seems the mere threat has done more than any physical enforcement ever has done before.
There is no doubt that President Trump’s aggressive bid to build a $15 billion wall on the nation’s southern border faces several hurdles on the ground. They range from endangered species, sacred tribal native territory and the likely use of eminent domain to take privately owned land.
But an example of the prevention of illegal crossings has already been proven near Yuma, AZ. That small stretch of newly constructed wall has dropped the rate of entries by an incredible 94 percent, according to Senate testimony that is expected to be given to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
That has quelled any speculation that walls are a waste of time and money. Yuma had been a prime location heavily overrun with illegal immigration. But a former Border Patrol chief and former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection cited several issues that could entangle the Trump plan.
He explained the issues in prepared testimony. David Aguilar has called upon Congress to “waive all legal requirements.” But he further noted that there are numerous federally endangered or threatened species living along the border. That could bring lengthy lawsuits by environmental groups with the hidden agenda of stopping the wall altogether.
Eighty-five percent of lands along Arizona’s border are federally owned. These lands are set aside to protect wilderness and wildlife. That includes areas such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. It is a problem that the vast southern border through Texas does not face. In Texas, most of the land along the border is privately owned.
It would seem with the success rate of preventing illegal entry a proven commodity in the Yuma area, Congress would find ways to step around the environmental issues. That remains to be seen judging what the environmental groups did to the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest for years because of the endangered Spotted Owl.