HOUSTON – The Border Patrol plans to poison vegetation along more than a mile of the Rio Grande riverbank in Texas to eliminate the dense foliage used as hiding places by illegal immigrants and smugglers.
The Houston Chronicle reports opponents of the action compare it to the Vietnam War-era Agent Orange chemical program and say it could have harmful long-term effects.
Members of the Laredo City Council also have raised concerns about the spraying program.
Mexican officials are worried the herbicide could threaten the water supply for the city of Nuevo Laredo.
The Border Patrol says the project is designed to protect the country and keep its agents safe.
The $2.1 million pilot project is set to begin this week.