Illegal immigrants and drug smugglers have found that hiding among the thick carrizo cane plants makes it harder for US border patrol to find them.
The feds plan to root out the problem. US teams will soon cut the plants by hand, dig out the roots with equipment, and spray them with poison from helicopters, so they can no longer serve as a hiding place.
The herbicide won't harm animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But critics worry that the long-term effects are unknown and Mexican officials think the chemicals could damage water supply.
The poison-plant plan is the latest tool for border agents, who rely on walls, fencing, and lookout towers. Does killing plants sound like a natural solution to the smuggling and immigration problem?