Immigration and border security are hot-button issues right now.  Everyone wants border security. Emotions are running high, and there are lots of divergent opinions on the issue, to say the least.

While being keen to stop illegal border traffic and the influx of illegal drugs, there is one immigrant we don't want to stop, the monarch butterfly.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash
Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash


This is where the whole gung-ho "let's build a wall" movement hits complex realities. Building the wall according to current designs might mean seriously endangering the prostrate milkweed habitat that sustains the majestic beauty of monarch butterflies.

The milkweed has been registered as an endangered species in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. This protects the plant on 661 acres in rural Zapata and Starr counties on the border, right where the State of Texas wants to build more border wall.

Texas Secretary of State, Ken Paxton, asked the Federal Government to weigh protecting the habitat with vital concerns for border security. If they did so, they disagreed about the priority.

In addition, many conservation groups promise legal action to tie up border wall construction in areas where it will destroy the endangered milkweed. These delays could outlast the current political fervor to construct this wall.

These groups contend that prostrate milkweed only grows within 9 miles of the border in the United States. Destroying this habitat could add monarch butterflies to the ever-growing list of creatures that no longer live on our planet.

Either way, the Endangered Species Act can be waived if Congress, then the Homeland Security Secretary if they decide the border wall is absolutely essential to the security of the United States.

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

We seem to have a sacred duty to protect the monarchs. As Americans, I believe we have the ability to find the right answers to complex decisions like weighing our border security with the environmental concern raised by losing milkweed habitats. Every decision we make for the future doesn't have to be made in the emotional context of the current Right vs. Left conflict.

Our descendants will judge us by how we proceed on this and many other issues. Let's make them proud, a pride they can savor as they watch beautiful monarch butterflies peacefully flutter by.

98.7 Kiss FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Endangered West Texas Animals

Animals we just don't see as much anymore here in West Texas

More From 98.7 Kiss FM