Arizona BLM Yanks Down Offensive Border Signs, Pierce Cries Foul
The BLM has removed signs on BLM border lands that supported the anti-immigrant movement and replaced them with a tamer version. Conservative politicos including Arizona Russel Pierce and Jan Brewer say it is a political ploy. The BLM says it part of a $600 million border security effort which they asked for.
The old sign was political, and served the anti-immigrant/broken borders message
The old sign read:
“Danger Public Warning, travel not recommended active human and drug smuggling area, visitors may encounter armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. Stay away from trash, clothing, backpacks and abandoned vehicles. If you see suspicious activity, do not confront (underlined) move away and call 911. The BLM encourages visitors to use public lands north of Interstate 8.”
The sign was a stark and unfriendly welcome to those who like to vacation in the Arizona desert. They fit within the Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Russel Pierce and Jan Brewer anti-undocumented worker rhetoric. When the BLM, presumably non-political, puts up scary signs, then it adds credibility to Governor Brewer's claim of headless bodies in the desert, claims she later admitted she falsified, and supports anti-immigrant sentiments.
The new sign reads:
“Visitor Information Update- active federal law enforcement patrol area, clean-up and restoration crews at work, contact BLM rangers for current area status.”
The Bureau of Land Management district office phone number is included. Those who encounter criminal activity are asked to call 911 for emergency help.
“I believe these signs are nothing more than political propaganda.” Pierce was reported to have said. Others felt the original sign was anti-Latino propaganda.
Pierce, Brewer and Arpaio have long opined about border security. The signs were placed under a $600 million congressional appropriation to increase border security.Continued on the next page