A dangerous invasive species is invading Montana, as well as the rest of the United States. Unless taken care of immediately, the invasive species will cause untold damage. Safeguards need to be in place to stop the flow of these parasites. If not, the damage will not be undone.
Depending upon whether you’re hearing this claim from Republicans or Democrats, the subject could be the exotic zebra mussel or illegal aliens crossing our borders. It depends who you’re listening to.
The exotic zebra mussel, also known as Dreissena polymorpha, is a small freshwater mussel native to Russia and Ukraine. It is named after the black-and-white stripe that often (but not always) appears on its shell, and it has been present in the United States since 1988. Gradually moving from where they first appeared in the U.S. within the Great Lakes, the mussels have migrated to freshwater bodies throughout the country on watercraft. If not gone in check, the mussels can clog machinery and structures. One of the more far-fetched claims of environmentalists is that the mussels will suck all the water out of the rivers and lakes (this claim is repeated on the Montana FWP website, despite this never actually occurring in the history of mankind).
On the other hand, President Joe Biden has effectively opened the border to illegal aliens from Mexico. Telling the U.S. Border Patrol to stand down on invasion crossings and only capture the criminals after they have committed a crime besides breaking into our country, Biden has also implemented a catch-and-release policy for the illegals, letting them go after capture, expecting them to show up to court for a small fine and perhaps extradition. They almost never show up to court and are then again on American streets.
The financial damage from exotic zebra mussels is currently zero dollars unless one counts the tax dollars spent on eradicating the mussels. If government dollars are factored into the expense of their invasion, they have cost the state upwards of several million dollars, and federally, hundreds of millions of dollars. All the other costs, including claims that they hurt tourism (somehow), are only “projected costs” advertised by environmentalists.
However, the financial damage incurred by illegal aliens is to the tune of billions of dollars. Homicide and sexual crimes committed by illegal aliens are nearly 300% higher than those committed by U.S. citizens. They are responsible for nearly 80% of drug trafficking within the United States. And because of Democrat policies, they account for nearly 30% of the federal tax dollars spent on wealth redistribution schemes and welfare policies. By the virtue of being illegal aliens, without documentation, they pay zero dollars in income tax to the state or federal government.
In Montana, the hunt for these two different invasive species could not be more in contrast. Democrats, largely provoked by hysterical and catastrophized reports of impending ecological doom, have allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to hunt down nearly-inanimate mussels. In 2019, the Montana legislature passed a bill into law that requires Northwest Energy rate-payers to fund exotic zebra mussel eradication efforts under the guise that the mussels can shut down dam turbines if left unchecked (this has never happened, unless one counts various instances of governments shutting down turbines to look for zebra mussels). The bill was passed through a coalition of Democrats and the Democrat-wing of the Republican Party known as the Solutions Caucus. Meanwhile, Republicans like PSC Commissioner, Randy Pinocci, opposed using utility bills as punitive tax-hikes to stop zebra mussel migration.
Republicans, on the other hand, have focused their efforts on stopping murderers, rapists, and traffickers of both humans and drugs. Montana Attorney General, Austin Knudsen, is currently suing the Biden Administration over his refusal to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Meanwhile, Democrats are working on policies that would not only allow illegal immigrants safe harbor (pun intended) but would give them the right to vote in a nation they gained a foothold in by breaking-and-entering.
Ultimately, perhaps both invasive species should be culled from Montana. But only one kind is bringing in methamphetamine and human trafficking victims.
[Editor’s Note: Contributed by Jordan Hall, President of Gideon Knox Group]