The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a video today that they claim documents the wildlife and environmental damage that undocumented immigrants and their “coyote smugglers” are inflicting on the Coronado National Forest in Arizona. The narrator, Janice Kephart, doesn’t have any scientific credentials and is no environmentalist. But that didn’t stop her from going green to promote CIS’ anti-immigrant agenda. Watch it:
Kephart doesn’t cite a single shred of evidence, but rather uses isolated “hidden camera” footage from “Borderinvasionpics.com” of wildlife pit against clips of suspected border-crossings to make the case that undocumented immigrants “have destroyed fragile Arizona ecosystems.” The same clips of “human coyotes and their clients” are played over and over to give Kephart more credence than she actually deserves. Kephart swears that the photos of strewn garbage and undergarments in trees once belonged to “illegal aliens,” not negligent backpackers or mischievous hikers. Kephart worries about what will happen to a bear or a mountain lion if it crosses the paths of humans:
“The animals frequently cross alien foot paths like this wild pig seen roaming on a trail also frequented by groups of men and women…A beautiful and hungry mature bear sniffs for food on a well-worn illegal path. This bear might be unwillingly in jeopardy…What if the bear encounters the human coyotes or a cartel next time?“
Chances are that a giant hungry bear or mountain lion has a lot less to worry about than the individuals who bump into them.
CIS and Kephart have put out this video to raise “questions about environmentalists’ focus on stopping a border fence.” Biologists have warned that the 700-mile border wall currently under construction will threaten wildlife species. In 2008, Defenders of Wildlife sued the Bush administration for waiving three dozen federal environmental laws to start building the wall. The National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club have all come out strongly against its construction. There’s isn’t documentation of any of these groups ever discussing the environmental impacts of immigrants that Kephart puts forth. In fact, a video released by the Sierra Club states “the proposed border wall will not stop human migration, but instead does unnecessary and serious harm to precious natural areas.” Watch it: