| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2006
Contact: Michael Finkelstein, 520.623.5252 x 301
Conservation Group Decries Border Wall Vote
TUCSON, Ariz. – Despite loud opposition from conservation groups, the Senate voted to impose a 700-mile, double-layered wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
This wall will do nothing to address the underlying causes of illegal immigration but will definitively stop natural wildlife migration if it is built. The wall is expected to cost at least $6 billion and will not effectively address the issue of migrants crossing in remote regions, where law enforcement is spread thin and human life is at risk.
"This is a disaster for the jaguar, Mexican gray wolf, Sonoran pronghorn and all of the other wildlife species of our borderlands," said Michael Finkelstein, executive director for the Center for Biological Diversity. "The only thing the wall won't stop is people."
The Secure Fence Act authorizes the construction of at least two layers of reinforced fencing from Calexico, Calif., to Douglas, Ariz. -- virtually the entire length of Arizona's border with Mexico. The wall would bisect sensitive desert ecosystems, including the Sonoran and Chihuahan deserts, and harm habitats and species that do not recognize political boundaries.
The vote has been billed as political maneuvering by politicians who want to look tough on immigration in an election year. Instead, it makes these same politicians look entirely out of touch with the socio-economic and ecological environment of the international border region.
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