If you asked voters in 2020 why they had opted to pull the proverbial lever for now-President Joe Biden, there was a good chance that many mentioned his and the Democratic Party’s pledged commitment to “the environment.”
Of course, this has more to do with a broad-sweeping climate agenda than it does anything else, and most Biden voters would probably find plenty of common ground with those of differing political persuasions when it comes to simply keeping our beautiful country clean and litter-free.
They’d also likely find that conservative or otherwise non-leftist voters would also generally agree that keeping living, breathing human beings safe and alive, say, when they’re illegally crossing our southern border or simply in the vicinity of those who are is a generally good thing.
So when it comes to Biden’s border crisis, the vast majority of Americans — those willing to participate in intellectual honesty, at least — should be disgusted to find that not only is the situation at our southern border a humanitarian crisis, but it appears to be turning into a potential environmental crisis as well.
Townhall recently visited Pinal County, Arizona, where Chief Deputy Matthew Thomas gave them a very eye-opening look at the trail of litter and crime that the migrants and those who prey on them are leaving in their wake.
“The biggest concerns, it’s not just one, it’s a bunch. The environmental concerns because of the damage that they’re doing because you have hundreds, if not thousands of people coming through the desert, dumping their trash as you saw, dumping all of their trash in our desert prior to them getting taken to their next location,” Thomas told Townhall.
In the town of Stanfield, 70 miles north of the border with Mexico, Townhall documented piles of trash left behind by smugglers. The outlet explained that migrants, who pay smugglers exorbitant amounts of money to facilitate their trek across the border, are instructed to wear several layers of clothing, the top layer being camouflage of some kind.
Once they reach a drop point after crossing through the Tohono O’odham Nation, where there is little border security presence, migrants are instructed to remove their top layer of clothing and simply leave it where they are, along with any trash they have such as the black water bottles they carry to avoid reflecting the sun.
The images are enough to make anyone raised on 90s-era anti-littering PSAs cringe:
Lax Border Policies Mean the Return of Violent Rip Crews, Environmental Damage in Arizonahttps://t.co/jxHArjJsbu
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) April 12, 2021
"Not only have we lost ground but we’ve gone so far backwards that we’re going to have to fight twice as hard to retake it." https://t.co/utzueNcBU9
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 9, 2021
More photos of the piles of litter, which are often dropped right next to working farms, can be seen on Townhall.
It is not just Mother Earth who is being hurt by this environmental degradation, however. Thomas explained that the litter itself attracts a criminal element with no concern for the earth or its stewards — fellow man.
As groups are smuggled into Arizona more frequently, very literally armed and dangerous rip crews swoop in to pick through the trash or simply rob the migrants or anyone else who might be there.
“You have the humanitarian piece because these are human beings that are coming up and the cartels don’t care about them as human beings, they see them as a commodity,” Thomas explained. “So they’re being raped, they’re being extorted, they’re being robbed, they’re being beaten, they’re being kidnapped. All of those things are going on.”
“What we know historically happens when we see this volume of bodies is it attracts the robbery/rip crews because it’s easy pickings for them and they’ll come back,” he said. “We have rip crews or robbery crews that will wait for those bodies to get up here closer to the hub of Phoenix and they’ll rob that load of bodies and they don’t care who they hurt in doing it and then they extort those same people, take them up. And then we have just the normal drug that the cartel is associated with.”
What’s worse is, because this is happening out in the desert, it’s difficult for law enforcement to respond to and investigate the crimes. 911 calls don’t go to federal officers like Border Patrol of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but to local sheriff’s deputies. Furthermore, undocumented victims rarely want to cooperate with an investigation.
“The problem, especially for local law enforcement, when they [rip crews] shoot and kill somebody, when they rob somebody, beat somebody, stab somebody, we are the ones who get the 911 call. We are the people responding to that call. That is our investigation to now deal with so whether it’s a homicide or an assault or ag [agriculture] assault,” Thomas explained. “Then, if you have somebody live, are they even going to be there for the prosecution because they are here illegally. They’ll disappear, they’ll just assimilate into whatever area they go to and you’ll never find them again, which makes it tough for prosecution.”
It seems all too often that the Democrats claim to have a heart for a certain cause — in this case, that of the environment and the impoverished migrants seeking a new life — yet their policies seem to produce the opposite result.
It adds insult to injury that the same smugglers and criminals empowered by Biden’s open border policies are trashing the environment the new Democratic president also vowed he’d protect.
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