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Bordering on ridiculous

The US Congress has approved a plan to build a 1,100-kilometre-long, two-layer fence along the US-Mexico border in an attempt to keep out illegal immigrants. This has elicited an overwhelmingly negative reaction from environmentalists.

‘The fence is a knee-jerk reaction by Congress. No one really studied the economic impacts, the environmental impacts’, says Eddie Aldrete of the Laredo, Texas-based International Bank of Commerce. Conservationists say the fence would disrupt the fragile desert ecosystem, as well as migration routes for scores of species, from snakes to jaguars. Others worry that it will affect local peoples’ water rights. The Mexican Government is furious: outgoing President Vicente Fox has condemned it as ‘shameful’. Mexicans who share a strong social bond with south Texans and significantly boost the economies of Texas border towns find the plan insulting. Oh, and it doesn’t look like it will actually stem illegal immigration either...

Grist www.grist.org

New Internationalist issue 396 magazine cover This article is from the December 2006 issue of New Internationalist.
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