San Diego Reader
March 21, 2010
by Carolyn Grace Matteo
U.S./Mexico border problems and their effect on the Tijuana Estuary was the focus of the March 19 Sierra Club’s meeting in Hillcrest.
According to a Sierra Club press release, laws protecting the environment, archaeological sites, religious freedom, and cultural concerns were waived so border-wall construction could proceed.
“Our committee has been fighting the border wall for a long time,” said Jean Costa, international committee representative. “The Sierra Club supports HR4321 because it prohibits construction of more border walls and the breaking of environmental and community protection laws....
“In Texas, it went right through people’s land. But, you won’t find the wall in any fancy resorts. They build the wall where they think people don’t have the power to fight it. This bill is the beginning of solving a very complicated problem, the roots of which aren’t being addressed. I urge you to support it.”
Dr. Mike McCoy said, “The [construction of] border fence between the U.S. and Mexico called Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994. There were no permits. They just built it. The big problem with these fences is that the animals that migrate north — jaguar, deer, reptiles, and other mammals — separate gene pools on both sides. You decrease the biological capability of that organism to survive; this especially impacts bighorn sheep."
McCoy considers the border wall a tribute to the politics of fear. “Injustice, economic disparity, and the inability to distribute wealth and opportunity equitably are at the root of the wall.”