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A BOUNTY ON COYOTES Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Tuesday, 23 May 2006

If you Google "coyote hunting," you'll get 2,790,000 hits.  It's a popular sport among outdoorsmen, and a necessary one.  As one hunter puts it:

Coyote populations across the country are exploding and taking an unprecedented toll on wildlife. Zero predator control by state and federal agencies and low fur prices have kept trapping to a minimum, hence predator populations are booming. The opportunity to add some prime coyote pelts to your trophy collection and reduce the predator pressure on the local game and bird populations have never been better.

Coyotes are pests, varmints, hated not only by cattle and sheep ranchers, but by anyone with a regard for all the wildlife they kill.  In many states, they can be shot on sight with no permit required in a year-round open season.  Ed Boggess, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources fish and wildlife policy chief explains:

Coyotes are an unprotected species and can be taken at any time of year, in any quantity, by almost any methods.

It's time this perspective is applied to human coyotes - for "coyote" is what smugglers of illegal aliens from Mexico into the US are called.

Smuggling illegals across the US-Mexico border is big business now, increasingly conducted by Mexican drug gangs.  They charge up to $3,000 a person, and with hundreds of thousands of Mexicans trying to get across, this is a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

One clear way to start shutting down the illegal invasion is to go after the coyotes.  That the federal government is not can be seen by this Associated Press story of last week (5/18):  Many Immigrant Smugglers Not Prosecuted.

But state governments can offer a bounty - say $20,000 for a "citizen's arrest" apprehension of a human-smuggling coyote.  Or individual counties within a state.  The place to start is Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona.

That's the home of the US's third largest sheriff's department, headed by "America's toughest sheriff," Joe "Lock ‘Em Up" Arpaio.

Last Saturday (5/20), the Washington Post ran a story, headlined One Sheriff Sees Immigration Answer as Simple, on Sheriff Arpaio, who has built a tent city jail in the Arizona desert that can house 2,400 illegal alien inmates.  He makes them wear pink underwear and feeds them bologna sandwiches.

Here's one sheriff in one Arizona county who can jail 2,400 illegals at a time.  It is amazingly instructive to note that exactly next to this story on page A3 is one headlined Insufficient Funds to End ‘Catch and Release'.

It will give you an idea as to how hopelessly, impossibly screwed up our federal government is.  The Department of Homeland Security claims that ending the "catch and release" program of illegals will require 35,000 more jail beds - so there's no way to end the program because Bush has proposed spending only $386 million, enough for just 6,700 jail beds.

You're sitting down, right?

Yes, that's $57,611.94 a bed.

When I saw this, I called up Sheriff Arpaio and talked to him about what it costs his department to run his tent city jail.

The tents are Korean War surplus which he gets for free from the military.  It cost $130,000 to set up the site, which is next to the Phoenix city dump.  He spent $180,000 for electricity on the site, but there's no air conditioning.  It gets 140 degrees in the summer.

It costs $500 to $700 for each bed.  He spends 15 cents per meal.  Inmates gets two meals a day, so it costs 30 cents a day to feed them each.  Operational costs are $1 million annually per 600 inmates.

That's $1.75 million to set up a tent city jail for 2,400 inmates and $4 million a year to run it.  For 6,700 beds, Sheriff Arpaio could set it up for $5 million and run it for $11 million.  The Federales say they couldn't do it for a penny less than $386 million.

Sheriff Arpaio could end catch-and-release along the entire US-Mexico border with the 35,000 beds needed for $26 million plus $58 million a year.  Our Washington bureaucrats say that would cost over $2 billion.

Now you know why Washington never solves a problem while spending oceans of money ripped off from taxpayers in the attempt.

If an illegal is caught in Maricopa, he does not get turned over to immigration authorities to be released.  He is put in jail for violating Arizona's anti-smuggling law.  Inmates are put to work on a chain gang.  Sheriff Arpaio would love for this to happen to coyotes.

In addition to his deputies and professional staff, he has a posse of 3,000 volunteers.  A bounty on the capture of coyotes would be a great incentive for these volunteers, who are armed and can defend themselves.

The coyote bounties could be offered by the state, the county, or through donations by civic-minded citizens.

It's important to note that, unlike the destitute peons they smuggle, coyotes are making fortunes and have assets - property, bank accounts, here and in Mexico - which can be confiscated.  A $100,000 fine for human smuggling would reimburse a number of bounties.

To get serious about the flood of illegals, we've got to focus on the smugglers.  Just like if you want to shut down drug pushing, you don't focus on the addict in the street, you focus on the pusher.

Target the coyotes, place a bounty on them, confiscate their assets, put them on a chain gang in the Arizona desert, make their business physically and financially disastrous, and you can start stemming the flood.

Let Sheriff Arpaio show how it's done.


 

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