D o n n a L. L y b e c k e r In the late 1990s those who knew of Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (CPNWR) considered it a treasure: an area of pristine desert in southwestern Arizona. Over the following ten years the refuge has sustained some most extensive environmental degradation along the U.S.Mexico border due to increasing numbers of illegal crossers. This damage occurred in part because past actions to curtail illegal crossings did not eliminate the stream of people illegally entering the United States. Instead these policies shifted the location crossings from the increasingly impermeable urban regions to the more porous rural segments border. This paper assesses the U.S. federal policies and management practices that affect the permeability U.S.Mexico border. 1 By examining the policies and practices over time and in a variety of regions, the paper identifies the shifting, increasingly impermeable function U.S.Mexico border. The paper begins with a discussion of environmental concerns along the border, using CPNWR as an example. It then explores the functions border created by policy and created through implementation, and examines the impact se functions on the border, including the border environment. The paper concludes with a
Journal of the Southwest – Southwest Center (Univ of Arizona)
Published: Apr 2, 2008
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