Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Illegal immigrants suspected in 30 border fires in Arizona

People entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico are believed responsible for more than one-third of human-ignited wildfires in Arizona over a five-year period, according to a government report that could stoke congressional debate over illegal immigration.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the Government Accountability Office report supports remarks he made earlier this year after his state was hit hard by wildfires. At the time, McCain was accused of "scapegoating" immigrants.

"I hope this report is a lesson to the activists and public officials that would prefer to engage in partisan character attacks rather than help focus the discussion on the vital need to secure our southern border," he said in a statement.

Illegal immigrants are believed to have started 30 of 77 fires that were investigated from 2006 through 2010, according to the report by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.

Federal land management agencies, however, did not investigate all 422 human-caused fires on federal and tribal land, as called for by federal policy. more