Border Patrol Destroys Foliage With Chemicals

Killing plants will cut hiding places for immigrants, smugglers
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 10:10 AM CDT
Border Patrol Destroys Foliage With Chemicals
Carrizo cane provides a dense ground cover thick enough to allow people to maneuver along small paths within it without being visible from above.   (©slminneman)

In an effort to keep smugglers and illegal immigrants from hiding in heavy vegetation as they attempt to cross the Mexican border, the US Border Patrol is looking to Agent Orange for inspiration. One plan for cutting down on possible hiding places on riverbanks is to use an herbicide that will kill all the vegetation, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Some people are outraged over the $2.1 million pilot program, which will be used over a 1.1-mile section of the Rio Grande. “It is unprecedented that they’d do it in a populated area,” says a local environmental activist. But an agent says that as long as the thick foliage remains, “They can come over almost undetected.” (More border control stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.