Today's Houston Chronicle tells the story:
The U.S. Border Patrol plans to poison the plant life along a 1.1-mile stretch of the Rio Grande riverbank as soon as Wednesday to get rid of the hiding places used by smugglers, robbers and illegal immigrants.Read the whole distressing story at the Houston Chronicle Online.
If successful, the $2.1 million pilot project could later be duplicated along as many as 130 miles of river in the patrol’s Laredo Sector, as well as other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Although Border Patrol and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say the chemical is safe for animals, detractors say the experiment is reminiscent of the Vietnam War-era Agent Orange chemical program and raises questions about long-term effects.
“We don’t believe that is even moral,” said Jay Johnson-Castro Sr., executive director of the Rio Grande International Study Center, located at Laredo Community College, adjacent to the planned test area.
“It is unprecedented that they’d do it in a populated area,” he said of spraying the edge of the Rio Grande as it weaves between the cities of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.