Spending billions more on fences and drones will do more harm than good
Families Divided by US-Mexico Border Meet Across the Fence
Complete reference links are provided at the bottom of this page.
Scathing Report on Border Security Is Issued
Price tag for 700 miles of border fencing: high and hard to pin down
Complete reference links are provided at the bottom of this page.
U.S.-Mexico border drug world unveiled after alleged cartel bodyguard's arrest
Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized
Complete reference links are provided at the bottom of this page.
The environmental impact of the Border Wall between Texas and Mexico.
Wildlife And The Wall
Environmentalists Worry Over Impact Of Border Fence
Complete reference links are provided at the bottom of this page.
Secure America’s Southern border. Do it at a time when money is tight. Do it in such a way that the fragile desert environment is not further harmed. Do it without more damage to the United States’ image (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the damage done to the United States' image ).
An engineering solution — a 14-foot wall/fence (topped in some places with razor wire). Over some stretches, the fence is an engineering marvel and at an average cost of $3.9 million per mile (and $20 million per-mile in cost-overruns in some places!) it damn well ought to be. However, that figure does not include maintenance and repair, which has soared so much higher so much faster than originally thought, that no one is even talking about it. What was overlooked has been true since man first began to build in the desert. Man builds and the desert consumes. So, how maintenance/repair was not included in the budget is hard to fathom. Even harder to understand is how at times when funding for everything is shrinking, this is expanding without limits (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the escalating costs of the border fence ). There is talk that the goal is not to totally secure the border but to “manage it.” But this plan will push people attempting to cross over deeper into the desert, where the land is at once more fragile and far more hostile (read more Click to view article: Near the U.S.-Mexico Border, a Grim New Reality ).
There are conflicting reports about how effective the wall has been. Remember, a 15-foot ladder trumps a 14-foot wall. Apprehensions about the flow of illegal immigrants may be down, but then so is the American economy (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the border fence ). Drug smuggling is up, but in a bad economy the demand for drugs increases (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the drug problems at our border ). No matter what, one set of sharply rising figures cannot be disputed — the percentage of deaths at our border as those trying to cross are forced further and further into the desert (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the percentage of deaths at our border ).
Also, the effects on nature at and near the border have been disastrous. Once-pristine lands are permanently scarred. The paths of migratory animals are disrupted. Endangered animals’ territories shrink, making mating more difficult (read more Click to view article: No Way Through for Wildlife ). Native plants are disappearing too fast to count (read more Click to load a list of web sites on the environmental impact of the border wall ).
America’s image to the world has been harmed. We can still look to the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of welcome, but now she is covered in barbed wire. Shameful (read more Click to view article: America's Berlin Wall ).
ART IS THE ANSWER solution:
Design. American-created Xeriscaping (read more Click to load a list of web sites on Xeriscaping ) uses the desert’s natural defense system. It works with, not against, the environment. The Great Green Barrier is a living demarcation of our border, constructed of cactus native to the three deserts that comprise it. Green, sustainable, hardy, drought-tolerant, fire-resistant and thorny as all get out, these plants will grow together in a short time to create a football-field deep barrier that will be more daunting than any fence and potentially a natural wonder (that will also serve to protect the most fragile ecosystems). In tandem with law enforcement, designated “crossing areas” will be created with shallower planting so that traffic will be directed and funneled as America chooses. Not moving them further into the desert where death is much more likely, but to areas both more humane and more easily securable. In both cases, a simple formula holds true: It takes “x” hours for someone to cross the Great Green Barrier and it takes “y” hours for security to detect and apprehend. When “x” is greater than “y” = border security.
Plus #1: The Great Green Barrier will cost 60% less than the cheapest per mile cost of fencing. After the first few years of watering, it remains virtually maintenance-free. Estimated cost is just $1.6 million per mile all in--a huge savings that will provide jobs to boost local economies.
Plus #2: The Great Green Barrier will be designed with input from experts to enhance ecosystems that will renew the desert as well as accommodate animals and those creatures with larger territories (read more Click to view article: Border Fence Blocks Bears in Migration, Study Finds ).
Too simple you say? If it’s that simple, why hasn’t it already been done? Well, as a matter of fact,
it has been done before and with great success. One hundred and fifty years ago, salt commanded higher
prices than cocaine does today. Stealing salt was a hanging offense--even for children. When the finest
salt in the world was discovered in the Himalayas, the British Crown stood to make a tremendous fortune.
To thwart salt smugglers, the British built a 2,300-mile bramble hedge that stopped the smuggling (read more
Click to load a list of web sites on India's Wall
But, that was a long time ago… what about all of today’s advances in technology? Well, the best way to cross
the Great Green Barrier without immediate detection is to wield a machete. It is true that a modern earth
mover is a much easier and faster way to cross, but pretty hard to get one to the border without someone
seeing it way before it gets there. (read more
Click to view article: Barricading the Border
). So, the same rules apply.
WHY WE ARE HERE:
Our personal politics do not matter. Here are some links to help you make up your own mind. The focus here is the border policies that affect all Americans regardless of point of view. What is important is that the very expensive fence already exists and will continue to cost vast sums of money and negatively impact both our society and the environment going into the future. In addition, we are making a statement to the world about who we are as a people
WHAT IS AT STAKE:
Immigration problems continue--as they have throughout America’s history. American Arts Trust takes no side in the current debate. Attempts to deal with drug interdiction continue. Desire creates perceived value, which causes greed, which begets violence.
OTHER THINGS MAY NOT HAVE THE SAME URGENCY IN FEELING BUT HAVE A MORE LASTING IMPORTANCE.
Ecosystems do not come back from extinction. If humans are the stewards of this earth, we Americans at our Southern Border hold stewardship over three of the most unique deserts in the world--the Sonoran, the Chihuahuan and the Mojave (read more Click to load a list of web sites on our 3 unique desert environments ).
America’s Southwest is a hotspot for endemism (species found nowhere else) and home to an incredible diversity of threatened/endangered plants and animals. Because many species are adapted to very specialized niches, their survival is fragile. The Sonoran Desert (2/3 of Arizona’s border) boasts nearly 5,000 plant species, 600 vertebrate species and 1000’s of invertebrates, including 1,000 native bee species. There are 23 unique species in just one Sonoran desert county alone. The Chihuahuan Desert (New Mexico and West Texas border) contains over 500 of the world’s 1,500 cacti species. The Mojave’s weather extremes have given us the Joshua tree (read more Click to load a list of web sites on our unique desert species ).
Native peoples continue to oppose fencing on their lands since they understand and live with nature as opposed to trying to conquer it. The Great Green Barrier stands a much better chance to work in harmony and certainly better than anything that could be engineered.
Clearly, the best thing would be no human footprint on this land at all, but that cannot be reality. Fear is such a strong human emotion that there is little that logic and facts can do to overcome it. For instance, fear derived from 9/11 caused the Secretary of Homeland Security to “waive in their entirety,” the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, in order to extend triple-fencing through the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve near San Diego, CA. Americans hardly noticed (read more Click to view article: Smuggler's Gulch project a 'disaster' for estuary ).
To stand defiantly and say “no fence, no nothing…” is very noble and that is not going to happen either. It is not the virginity of the land that is in question — it is how its virginity is going to be taken. American Arts Trust advocates the use of the same methods that nature uses to protect itself. By working closely with scientists, environmentalists and zoologists, the changes to the land should be minimal.
Image, one can argue, is ephemeral, but in the final analysis--image is all. How you are remembered is really who you are…and so it will be with our nation.
Are we still a freedom-loving land of opportunity, open to all who yearn to breathe free? This single image has drawn some of our greatest men and women to our shores. It is a source of strength and pride — the image at America’s front door.
Or, will this become the enduring image of the United States? It symbolizes fear and diminishes us as a people who still advocate freedom, but just for some of us. Should the richest, strongest country in the world cower behind gates (…as has been the conclusion of pundits)? If so, then this image says as much at our back door as does the French lady at America’s front door.
Which better represents the United States of America?
Walls are interesting constructs. They can show strength or they can demonstrate vulnerability. Two of the most advanced nations in the world built famous walls less than 100 years apart. One, hastily built by the military; the other, carefully designed and built by artisans. Hadrian’s Wall is a symbol of the decline of the great Roman Empire — today no more than a few rocks remain here and there, a footnote in history. Never breached, the 5,500-mile Great Wall of China is a wonder of the world, an enduring example of great design and artistry. It is a powerful symbol of the Chinese people, the number-one tourist attraction in the world and the only man-made object visible from space.
The problem at our southern border is real. We, like any nation, have the right to demarcate our borders, to keep them secure and to control who and what enters. We have the right to make sure that our rule of law is followed. It was the case at Ellis Island and there is no reason to give that up. But barbed wire? There is a better way--one that respects the land and gives us better control over the flow across this border.
If we must have a barrier between us and our neighbors, then make it great. Let it reflect who we are. Use what the border offers and turn that to our advantage. Create a barrier that does not destroy the very land it purports to protect, one more impenetrable than any manufactured wall could ever be.
See our response to questions asked by Department of Homeland Security below.
Our border is not a line that defines empty space as either belonging to the United Stated or to Mexico. The border is an imaginary line agreed to by contract and peace treaty. But it is an imaginary line, which traverses real land with real eco-systems and real inhabitants that existed long before either nation. There are three deserts that underlie this imaginary line. Each has a different multifaceted character that can be used or ignored in defense of this line. The deserts at our border that are under discussion for the Great Green Barrier [GGB] project include:
CHIHUAHAN DESERT : [New Mexico, Parts of Texas with fingers into western Arizona] The largest, easternmost and southernmost desert in North American. The terrain spectrum includes mountain ranges, arid valleys and lush river valleys of the Pecos and Rio Grande. Very few deserts claim any fish as inhabitant species, but the Chihuahuan has many. This American treasure boasts the largest number of cactus in the world.
THE SONORAN DESERT: [All of Arizona, South Eastern Ca.] Is the wettest desert in the world. Terrain varies from oceanfront in Baja, to riverfront along the Colorado. From valley floor (Desert), it rises to (Thornscrub), to high mountain (Chaparral). It is the only home to the iconic Saguaro Cactus so prized by the state of Arizona it is against the law to harm it in any way.
COLORADO DESERT: [California: San Diego and Imperial Counties and is a subset of the Sonoran Desert.] Primarily it is a low desert. It is the desert most recognized as “American desert” in the mind of Americans because it was the desert used in the movies. Like Hollywood, the Colorado Desert is the perfect juxtaposition of man and his relationship to nature. The Colorado Desert is both man over-riding nature in the Imperial Valley and turning a desert into a garden. It is the great Salton Sea taking a tragic irrigation mistake of the last century and turning it back to nature as new habitats and preserves. Both the excesses of air-conditioned Palm Springs and the use of the same valley for some of the earliest wind farms and home to the Colorado Desert’s signature plant, the Joshua Tree. Standing as it does nowhere else in the world… mystical, spiny, beautiful, who form branches and grows stronger not from it flowers but from the death of it flowers by infestation. That when burned will regenerate.
The questions and scenarios we were asked to contemplate and react to about possible breaches in our border do not happen in a void. The specific areas will dictate the precise solutions, therefore answers will seem to be one size fits all but the reality is the land will itself provide the fine details. What works in one section maybe be vastly different from the right solution less then ten miles away. What is important to consider is that all of these areas have their own built in defense mechanisms, as well as built in security weaknesses. Our intent with the GGB is exploit the natural defenses and compensate for its fragility.
The illegal breaches to our sovereign border are conceived and carried out by two very different groups. They are motivated by different needs, are on different timetables, have vastly different resources and are willing to take very different risks. To address the level of impenetrability as seen by a single farmer with a machete and seen by the force of a cartel without differentiating will not give a reasonable answer to your queries. So for clarity, answers may identify some items as defense against A: those breaking the law for personal need, and B: those breaking the law for profit. (There is a subset of A&B: the human Coyote who prey on the needs of the desperate people and operate human trafficking.)
This separation of groups allows current statistics on crossings to make sense. How illegal crossings by those seeking work can be down because of tighter scrutiny, the wall, and a weakened national economy and at the same time illegal crossings to bring contraband is up. To truly make the border secure the needs of both groups must be taken into concern.
It is important to state that the purpose of the Great Green Barrier is not to be the fail-safe stalwart against any form of attack. Like the border fences themselves, its purpose is to funnel those set on breaking into our country into areas that are easier and more efficient for us to protect. The potential perpetrator has to assess the liability of crossing at a GGB point which is up to 300 feet of hell, but with remote security or the liability of crossing at a non-GGB point with maybe 75 feet of hell, but with direct security. The evidence shows the decision will be to go for the “seemingly” easier path of least resistance. This is backed-up by the United Stated Armed forces in their special ops training.
Here discussed as:
Fire. Cacti are by natural design, fire resistant due to extremely high water content. Cactus and succulents are often used as a fire block by la designers. In the shocking aftermath of the Malibu, CA fires the only homes left standing were those surrounded by cactus and succulents.
For Group A: The option of some form of torch is not realistic. It is ineffective, inefficient, time consuming and flame even small flame is easily seen at night.
For Group B: While a Rambo style flamethrower may look great. The reality of the back up fuel tanks and heavy and volatile equipment needed is a negative. Then you would have to the wait until the area is cool enough to be cleared (which still would have to happen and still presents an arduous and dangerous task) makes it unrealistic. If a torch is visible, this is very visible.
Fire is too difficult to control. Big enough to do the job is big enough for the desert night winds to take control from you.
Explosives: Bangalore Land Torpedoes and the newer Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS) are explosive line charges for breaching complex antipersonnel obstacles. Effective but easily detected and would disburse dangerous debris. Would also require multiple detonations to clear a path through 300’ of plant material.
Armored cars/(four wheel drive required): the GGB would be extremely difficult, bordering on impossible for regular motor vehicles to cross, without substantial clearing. The combination of tough fibrous plants with softer, mushier ones would wreak havoc on wheels, axles, tires and under-bodies.
Machetes: the most practical and effective solution to breaching the GGB. Arduous, painful and time consuming, it would require protective clothing and gear (offering only partial protection) plus 18-24 hours to hack out a narrow pathway that could easily be plugged up, guarded and monitored. Part of the support technology envisioned includes set cameras, drone recon several times a day and night. Computer run microphone sets ups that will sense programmed noises such as a machete cutting even at great distances, triangulate it and report to humans.
For Group A: This method and success of it truly depend on the skill of the man using the machete and the desire to cross. If the fear of what that person is escaping is strong enough this may be a good way. The human spirit can overcome amazing things for short periods of time. However, the expense of the extra body armor needed means most would just do it on machismo.
For all but a few, this would prove their undoing. Many have worked around cactus, but to be exposed in this way not only to the thorns and spines and small airborne spines, toxic sap, snakes, bees, wasps fire ants and scorpions for more then 16 hours straight could be tolerated only by a very few. And that presumes they are traveling alone and could cut and then just climb over the cut. If others are to follow the cactus must be cleared out which may double the time needed. Looking at it like this makes the choice to go where the Barrier is “thin” and risk human detection a much more understandable one.
For Group B: Not the best in a ratio between time, money and results. Teams of cutters and haulers could make the work more efficient. The fact that the boss in never going to see or hear much less feel the pain and suffering is another bonus. But to view this in relationship to the purpose is not so good. For the traffickers of contraband a single crossing is not what is desired unless the single shipment is vast. Vast is problematic because it can be easily seen approaching the fence and after the crossing. A machete wielding gang would need more than one night’s cover of darkness (more than 12 hours) or risk detection. Once complete, dawn reveals the breach and it can be plugged. This is much too much effort and expenditure for too little gain.
Tractors/Bulldozers/Earthmovers: Common tractors would be ineffective, lacking the necessary power and are too susceptible to wheels and mechanisms being fouled by debris. Larger bulldozers and earthmovers could cut through the barrier but would be easily detected as they approached the border. They would also be susceptible to debris fouling their mechanical parts. These could cut a swath but it would not be so wide as to be easily repaired, guarded or monitored. Randomly placed hidden concrete pylons and steel barriers would impede such vehicles. Set up irregularly far fewer are needed. They would have no negative effect on wildlife.
Crop Dusters: Could drop chemicals to kill plants. Highly problematic: flying over U.S. airspace risks detection. Any chemical drop would require multiple passes and a lengthy waiting period to kill plants. Once dead these plants are even more difficult to cut through, haul and traverse, making this a counter-intuitive, and ineffective solution.
In all of these theoretical attempts to breach the GGB, two key time factors must be weighed in opposition. The time needed to breach and escape, weighted against the time required to identify the breach via active and passive monitoring and respond. This formula is foolproof: if it takes longer to breach the GGB than it does for detection and response, the perpetrators will be caught 100% of the time. Accurate data required by this formula must be done in studies that are relatively simple to set up, with some modification about “the grown together” state the actual cactus would be after a growing period. But it can be done in such a way as to extrapolate the data needed. Again, in any instances where the GGB might be breached, detection and response would not lag very far behind and sealing the breach is relatively simple.
It cannot be overstated, killing or cutting down cactus does not solve the problem for those who want to cross. The cut off or even dead arm of a cactus still has all the spines. In many ways the cut branch or arm of the cactus is more dangerous because it is harder to handle. Cutting can make the fine spines of certain varieties become airborne. Poison sap will be released by some. It must be cut and then it must be removed. Some of these limbs can be rather heavy.
CRANES LIFTING VEHICLES: Planted to a depth of 300’ this would be an extremely challenging, and highly impractical. A gigantic crane would be required: the k-10000 tower crane by Kroll Giant Towercranes is by far the largest tower crane in the world, and it might not have the reach to succeed. To transport and set up without detection at the border would be nearly impossible. The amount of time required to hoist any number of vehicles would not be very practical. Few cranes offer booms in excess of 155-250’.
Gliders/lighter then air/other flight vehicles that would not be detected by radar. Many in this group such as gliders or hot air balloons do not have the steering capabilities needed. Jet packs, or cycle flyers a good solution, especially for group A, with the intent of abandoning after a hoped for safe landing. Problem. If they could afford one they would not be doing this. For group B, possible: Ultralights have been used to transport and drop loads of marijuana in the 200 lb. range.
ZIPLINES: These could be a practical solution if detection was not an issue, as it requires construction on both sides. Depending on ground elevation on each side of the border, the height of towers could range from 8 to 22’ in height. More problematic is the use of helicopters to string the cable from point to point.
CATAPULTS: could not be used to transport people, but could be used to move contraband. Any contraband flung more than 330’ would have to be packed very carefully to withstand the impact upon landing, unless bundles were rigged with mini parachutes, which would expose them to detection. Types of catapults include: Trebuchen, Onager, Ballista and Mangonel.
CANNONS: Pneumatic cannons capable of propelling bundles of marijuana 500’ have been used—one such attempt was thwarted by Border Patrol agents near Yuma, AZ in December 2012. These are subject to detection and require coordinated pick-ups on United States soil.
Subterranean tunneling has proved an effective strategy. However, to avoid detection, especially during the extensive construction phase, it requires buildings to hide activity. The GGB’S best application is away from populated areas and industrial parks where appropriate structures to hide this activity would not be present. No cover equals no tunnel construction.
“TUNNELING ABOVE GROUND” The special ops trained marine we consulted with suggested cutting out a “tunnel” at ground level just large enough for a person to crawl the 300’ length through the GGB. He suggests this would provide cover, minimizing detection while carving it out. It would be an arduous and slow task yielding a “tube” through which an unpleasant crawl of 300+ feet would allow people to move through(but not for the faint of heart, it would be impossible to crawl through such a tube without getting cut and scraped and bitten.
On the U.S. side, once detected, this would be easy to plug up, guard or monitor. Additionally hidden interior metal or concrete barriers would make this more of a nightmare. This goes a long way to avoid visual detection from the air, but not so for the sound detection. Microphones could easily pick up the repeated sound and know that they were not animal. Our animal specialist said that the worst problem will be the javelina (Collared Peccary) who if they desire will just chew through it, “and if a javelin goes a man can follow”. Javelina are common in Texas and Arizona but they pose an additional problem for our perpetrators: javelinas are mostly nocturnal, very unfriendly and dangerous. Also, javelina don’t necessarily understand the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and will just as likely zigzag as they eat, and not go directly to the U.S. side.
The use of over or under will doubtless still be attempted in the future but they will be stymied by the GGB, allowing more surveillance to be done in the areas where over and under are the more likely choices. At its full depth of 300,’ the expanse planted in wilderness where no buildings provide cover or hide the tunneling activity, large equipment movement to haul away the dirt or deliver the lumber etc. would be easily spotted. Limiting the areas where it can be done would leave more money for specific monitoring activity.
Width is not the issue. Time is the issue. In any given area many factors come in to play. The terrain, first and foremost. If the terrain is straight up a steep hill or mountain 300’ may be overkill because of the difficulty. However, if it is hilly terrain the up and down while slowing the potential perpetrator, may also act to better conceal him. Each area will be evaluated so the formula of time needed to cross and time needed to spot and apprehend comes out in favor of U.S. Border personnel. If it the depth is lower other means of monitoring would be used to again make sure that the formula comes out in the U.S.’s favor.
Drought: Nature’s most challenging condition. The American Southwest has been in a cycle of severe drought. This is winding down which should allow for increasingly better growing conditions. Water trucks would be utilized for the first 12-18 months to enable plantings to become established and naturalize.
Natural Fire: Lightning can create fire, but not known to break out into range fires. Cactus and succulents are highly resistant to fires. Some clearing of dead annuals and grasses, especially during the initial 12-18 months of supplemental watering would further mitigate any risk. Dried grasses burn quickly and at not very high temperatures so not likely to ignite a cactus forest into flames.
Flash Floods: While violent thunderstorms can occur during summer months, the topography along the border does not lend itself to flash flooding, which has not been much of a problem in the region.
By working with and not against nature, the GGB will be in the best possible situation to survive.
Migrating Animals: Technically none of the large mammals of this region migrate, in the way caribou or the American buffalo do. That said some of the animals have large territory. While it is our intent to preserve that as much as possible, it will not harm the animal if it has to walk a bit to get through or around an obstacle. Migrating animals have very, very specific paths they must take. To throw them off even a few hundred yards can do much harm.
There are only a limited number of large mammals in the region, including: rarely seen jaguars [no breeding pairs recorded], mountain lions, wolves and bears. Regular populations include deer [mule and white tail], pronghorn and bighorn sheep, javelina [collared peccary] and coyote. Any barrier that blocks the movement of humans would also inhibit animal movement.
A coyote with a 100 mile territory doesn’t much care if he has to trot a few miles out of his way to get dinner. That said one must be very cognoscente of anything that would separate parts of a species from others and isolate them. This can have a real effect on the mating and thus gene pool. Our intent is to work with biologists and animal behaviorists to create passage for these animals. With the needs of the animals met, we will then increase security around those areas to meet out formula demands.
Native plant species
Yes. The GGB would utilize native, indigenous species of cactus and succulents. Yes. The GGB would utilize native, indigenous species of cactus and succulents. These native species offer a variety of deterrents to anyone attempting to traverse it. These include: sharp thorns, providing wounds that are easily infected, stinging needles, burning sap. Numerous of these varieties provide homes to bees (over 100 native verities), wasps and fire ants.
The environmental needs of these eco-systems will all be met and factored into the GGB’s design.
Not appropriate to any one question here, but a factor in decisions made by the potential perpetrator is the psychological effect of what he faces. Man understands manmade much better then he understands nature. He is much more likely to want to engage and “beat” something manmade. Nature is mysterious; a storm is an act of God. To fight a storm is to fight God. In a psychological sense, a man comes upon a fence. No matter how tall, he knows even though he can not see through to see how thick it is he knows that is has a thickness and he can figure a way to get around it. A man comes up to a fence of cactus taller then he is. He tries to look through he cannot see an end…he has no way to plan. This causes fear. Man is more afraid of nature then he is of man. There are phobias for every thing in Nature and while it would be hard to quantify the effect these fears have. They do play a role in the type of decisions we are discussing and therefore need to be mentioned.
No formal studies have yet been done and of course would need to be. The answers to these questions were arrived at through research, supplemented by five (5) specific expert interviews, as well as thirty-five years of hands-on experiencing working with cactus and succulents. These were granted to us as a courtesy and some department heads requesting that their names and the names of their institutions not be used until formal studies are done, because without them some of this is of course informed supposition. (All said they would be willing to participate in or evaluate these studies once they were set up). We granted this request, but here are categories we hit: Director of the Cactus Department at one of the nation’s most prestigious gardens; Director of the Zoological Department at a renowned desert museum; a former Special Ops trained Marine and former Black Water security team member; Owner of a large cactus wholesale/planting nursery; and Owner of a three generation Los Angeles nursery and garden care center. Studies with formal protocols would need to be done to with repeatable results to be any surer of these answers.
The Great Green Barrier is an idea that offers a different way of demarcating and protecting our border with Mexico. Not a one size fits all areas, no one will ever breech this barrier, damn the environment solution. Rather, the GGB offers a means to work with the environment’s own protective arsenal without disturbing it and also working with the best hi-tech has to offer to funnel the traffic that will continue to try and come over the border illegally by group A. until till there is no need to try to escape poverty or political repression and by group B. because the profit is so high.
By funneling this traffic into smaller more easily controllable areas, Border Patrol successes will be higher. This is if there is no change in either immigration, or drug policies. The idea that they are doing it on our terms rather them us trying to figure out what their terms are. It is a better use of money and manpower. And we are using our own idea (our offensive ideas): Attack at the weaker points, but make the weaker points better fortified. The side benefits of working with the land and not only saving habitats, but creating new ones are a bonus. The benefit of being better protected by use of a garden and not barbered wire shows the world we are stronger and smarter and more caring. No price can be put on that.
The studies needed to prove this are neither difficult nor expensive, and will be miniscule by comparison to previous studies done to arrive at the Fence solution. They will not require a great deal of time either.