People entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico are believed responsible for more than one-third of human-ignited wildfires in Arizona over a five-year period, according to a government report that could stoke congressional debate over illegal immigration.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the Government Accountability Office report supports remarks he made earlier this year after his state was hit hard by wildfires. At the time, McCain was accused of “scapegoating” immigrants.
“I hope this report is a lesson to the activists and public officials that would prefer to engage in partisan character attacks rather than help focus the discussion on the vital need to secure our southern border,” he said in a statement.
Illegal immigrants are believed to have started 30 of 77 fires that were investigated from 2006 through 2010, according to the report by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.
Federal land management agencies, however, did not investigate all 422 human-caused fires on federal and tribal land, as called for by federal policy.
“Only 18% of fires on federal land during the five-year study period were actually investigated, and thus, the number and size of fires linked to illegal border crossers may actually be higher,” McCain said.
Of the 30 fires, nine burned more than 100 acres each, 16 burned 10 to 100 acres, and five burned fewer than 10 acres, according to the report.
That’s a of damage, but nothing compared to the damage good old American wild pigs are starting to do to Mexico:
MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials have unveiled plans to slaughter some 50,000 wild boars that have crossed the border from the United States and now threaten agriculture in Mexico.
The Ministry of Environment in Chihauha state said some 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of farmland in the border town of Ojinaga have been affected by the large number of feral pigs that have come from Presidio County, Texas.
“We must get rid of these European wild boars because they sleep overnight on US soil during the day and cross over to the Mexican side to feed,” Ignacio Legarreta, a state official, told local media.
The boars of European origin, which were imported to Texas as pets and then replicated in the wild, have caused serious damage to the flora and fauna of the area, officials said.
“They have reproduced to reach more than 50,000 animals that threaten the area,” said Legarreta.
While any person of average intelligence knows that the wild boar problem isn’t about pet pigs. But it’s funny to see the frustration of Mexicans over damage caused by animals crossing back and forth when they are pretty silent on the damage their own citizens do to this country.