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Letter: Stop putting up walls to keep people apart

Most of the current coverage of the proposed border wall fails to expose the enormous harm already caused by existing barriers.

Since 1994 fences have blocked the usual routes between Mexico and the USA, such as the roads from Tijuana to San Diego or from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, forcing migrants to walk through harsh desert or mountain terrain, as much as 50 miles before reaching a road.

Between 1994 and 2007 approximately 5,000 people – including many children – died on these routes.

Border fences have been imposed on Native American lands, breaking treaties and violating sacred lands and waters. Proposed barriers would be imposed on the lands of three indigenous peoples. Non-native landowners have also seen their property seized against their wishes for the fences and roads.

Existing barriers have caused great harm to habitats and migration routes of endangered panthers, ground-nesting birds, and butterflies.

Proposed new walls and the accompanying roads will cross the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and a privately owned, non-profit butterfly refuge.

A December 2018 Supreme Court decision let stand a ruling allowing the Trump administration to bypass 28 federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Finally, just as we in Buffalo appreciate our Canadian visitors and customers, so do the folks in Texas and other border states enjoy Mexican visitors. We don’t need the wall!

Jean Dickson

Buffalo

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