As usual, a Finding of No Significant Impact was declared in an August report, despite the fact that saguaro in the region are home to the federally protected species of the lesser long-nosed bat. The proposed three-acre US Border Patrol complex would include a helicopter launch pad, housing, horse corrals, canine pens, communication tower and remote surveillance tower.
The site in Pisinemo District is an alternative because O’odham rejected the complex in the communities of Dirtburn and Kupk on Tohono O’odham land, according to the federal document. Although the plan has been intentionally concealed, the public comment period ended on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.
In this area, there are Tohono O’odham culturally sensitive plants including saguaro, cholla, Palo Verde, prickly pear cactus, mesquite and wolfberry.
The massive complex would add to the noise and pose more risks to local O’odham from helicopters, increased pollution, increased water usage by the Border Patrol, and disturb the fragile land of the Sonoran Desert. Further, more O’odham land would be seized for the corridor for a separate electrical transmission line, which would be constructed to the north, according to the documents.
Already O’odham are protesting the militarization, constant harassment and abuse by US Border Patrol agents here. An O’odham was beaten in front of school children at a school bus, and other agents have held O’odham women and elderly at gunpoint. Still other border agents have shined flashlights into O’odham women’s homes at night, stalked O’odham women, endangered O’odham lives with high rates of speed and destroyed the fragile desert with off road vehicles. Further, the constant spying and searches by federal agents have left many O’odham living in a state of fear.
Tohono O’odham Bennett Patricio, 18, was run over and killed by the US Border Patrol in this region. Bennett was crushed as he walked home at dawn. Bennett’s family sought justice in federal court and accused the US Border Patrol agents of intentionally murdering him. They believe Bennett walked upon the border agents involved in a drug transfer in the desert. The Border Patrol agents were never held accountable. O’odham protesting the US Border Patrol say they can not depend on their tribal government to protect them because it has been coopted by the US government.
ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: Bordering on madness | mexmigration: History and Politics of Mexican Immigration.