Can't Beat Mother Nature: Congress and DHS battle Rio Grande 'Carrizo Cane' which "Provides Concealment To Potential Terrorists"
By Martin Hill
January 23, 2015


Jeh C. Johnson, Homeand Security Secretary, recently said that the 'Secure Our Border First Act of 2015' is "unworkable extreme, impossible to achieve".

Other items of interest in the bill (H.R. 399) include a 'Carrizo cane eradication' section, a 'cocaine seizure effectiveness rate' section, a 'Biometric Exit Data System' and establishment of a 'Border Security Verification Commission.'

The U.S. Government has spent countless millions of dollars for decades in futile attempts to remove Carrizo Cane from the Rio Grande area. A new bill proposed in Congress would once again attempt to address this pest which "causes serious officer safety issues and operational concerns because it hampers enforcement along the Rio Grande river" and "provides concealment to criminals, drug smugglers, illegal aliens, and potential terrorists."

Shockingly, SEC. 19, the 'AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS' states "There is authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2025 $1,000,000,000 to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act." That's a heck of a lot of money.

Here is the section on Carizzo Cane:

(1) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:
(A) Carrizo cane is a non-native, invasive plant growing along the Rio Grande River in Texas, with heights of up to 27 feet tall.
(B) According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "The [Carrizo cane] plant causes serious officer safety issues and operational concerns because it hampers enforcement along the [Rio Grande] river. The plant also provides concealment to criminals, drug smugglers, illegal aliens, and potential terrorists who could use it as an advantage to enter the Unites States illegally. The obvious officer safety hazards created by this situation are of grave concern to the Border Patrol and need to be remedied."
(2) ERADICATION.—The Chief of the Border Patrol shall coordinate with the heads of each relevant Federal and State agency to eradicate, to the greatest extent practicable, the Carrizo cane plant along the Rio Grande River.

FOX News reported on the problem in 2007, noting "Carrizo cane is a Euro import that invaded South Texas a couple hundred years ago. Since then, it's literally put down roots and made itself at home. The problem is that it's so dense and tall (up to 30 feet) that it provides the perfect cover for people seeking to enter the country illegally, either to work or to smuggle people or drugs. Border Patrol agents say the cane is so thick, you can be five feet from someone and not even see them."

Environmentalists and health officials were concerned about a plan to eradicate the cane in 2009.

An April 2009 story in a Construction Trade publication stated Carrizo cane might stem illegal crossings along the Rio Grande, but the "natural barrier" is unwelcome in Texas.:

"This cane grows right up to the edge of the water," says Chuck Prichard, public affairs specialist with the Customs and Border Protection/ Border Patrol in Laredo. "It puts agents in harm's way." That's why the CBP/BP in September asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help them figure out a way to control the growth of the cane, Prichard says. "The removal plan contemplated the various methods that have been employed to remove Carrizo cane in other areas," says Robert Hardbarger, corps project manager. "The design team evaluated those methods against several criteria to determine the methods most likely to achieve the desired results in Laredo." The Laredo pilot project test area is located along a 1-mi, 300-ft-wide area of the Rio Grande near the Laredo Community College fence line. The project will employ three methods to remove the cane: aerial herbicide application, cut-stem herbicide application and mechanical. The corps awarded CKY Inc. of San Pedro, Calif., a $1.1 million contract for removal, scheduled to begin in March. Aerial herbicide application was deemed most effective for large stands that are almost exclusively cane, Hardbarger says. "The contractor will employ a helicopter with spray nozzles to apply herbicide." .. The corps has also awarded a $1 million contract to Gulf South Research Corp. of Baton Rouge, La., to re-vegetate the project area with native plant species."

H.R. 399 can be found in PDF form here.

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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal,, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts,, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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