Skip to comments.Bill would amend the Real ID act, could impact border fence
Posted on 04/29/2009 5:32:35 PM PDT by SandRat
Wouldn't allow DHS to single-handedly override federal laws
A bill introduced in Congress would overturn the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to override as many as 35 federal laws to allow the agency to build fences and physical barriers along the United States-Mexico border.
A similar bill was introduced in 2007 by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., who along with nine co-sponsors introduced the latest proposed legislation.
The purpose of the Border Security and Responsibility Act of 2009 is to provide the highest protection possible from the effects of unauthorized immigration, human and drug smuggling, and border enforcement activities, while ensuring that all operations necessary to achieve border security are undertaken, the bill states.
The act would amend both the 1996 Illegal Immigration Act and a 2005 amendment known as the Real ID Act.
Real ID permits the Department of Homeland Security secretary to act in the name of national security in the border region without a private property owners permission and without federal or tribal review.
States have contested Real IDs rigorous requirements to prove that official drivers licenses used to board airplanes and enter federal buildings are only issued to recipients legally in the United States.
The Grijalva bill would overturn certain border security provisions of Real ID by substituting new language for provisions that allowed then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to build hundreds of miles of border fence on land north of the Mexican border without landowner consent, without a legal assessment of wildlife corridors or other environmental impacts, and without legal consultations with tribes on their concerns. His actions resulted in heated protests along the Texas border from private property owners.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, then-Arizona governor, responded to The Associated Press in 2005 after Real ID passage, Show me a 50-foot fence and Ill show you a 51-foot ladder; thats how the border works.
DHS spokesman Matt Chandler said on April 27 that the Department of Homeland Security does not comment on pending legislation.
As a general matter we agree that state and local officials should have a seat at the table when making decisions related (to) our shared security, Chandler said. Improving coordination with local officials is a top priority for Secretary Napolitano and is a critical step toward establishing effective safety and security.
Grijalva spokeswoman Natalie Luna said she doesnt believe the congressman has spoken to Napolitano, and I am not sure if she has had a chance to see this legislation.
The act requires a number of procedures be followed for border protection and control of illegal immigration that in some ways parallel the National Environmental Policy Act while also restoring NEPA, among many national laws, as a required component of border policy.
These include landowner, federal agency and state, local and tribal governmental consultation and approval of border protection strategy that the Homeland Security secretary would be required to pursue. The Department of Homeland Security also would consult with appropriate Mexican authorities.
The protection strategy would include different alternatives before the use of fences and large-scale physical barriers for border security protection including, among others, electronic surveillance, pedestrian corridors, increased Border Patrol, control of vegetation to prevent funneling both illegal traffic and wildlife to isolated corridors.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Arizona Game and Fish Department and many other agencies and conservation groups have claimed that a number of animals, including some not currently facing potential extinction, face an increased threat of becoming endangered as a result of impassable border barriers.
Border obstructions have also caused severe flooding in Nogales, the Buenos Aires reserve and the San Pedro River along the Arizona-Sonora border.
The act requires detailed cost-benefit analyses, mitigation of border protection impacts on wildlife corridors as well as general protection of environmental and cultural values. Mitigation would be some type of compensatory action to improve negative environmental impacts; it would not necessarily prevent the impacts.
The Border Security and Responsibility Act amends the current law, which pursues a one fence fits all solution, Grijalva said in a statement. Current policy has driven crossing activity to remote isolated areas along the border which, in Southern Arizona, represent significant public and tribal lands. Many of these lands have suffered extensive environmental degradation as a result of unauthorized activity and border security efforts.
Dick Kamp is environmental liaison for Wick Communications Co., which owns the Herald/Review. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see some EPA over rides in this too.
This is why groups need to keep an ever vigilant watch on Congress. When all the hoopla is taking place and the news media is feeding the American people what the Obamanites want the American people to think is taking place.... watch groups have to alert the PEOPLE and let the PEOPLE know what their elected politicians are up to behind the scenes.
Good reading. Thanks SandRat.
We dare not stop the migrating raccoons.
We must provide nooks by which the raccoons can get from the US to Mexico and vice versa.
But those nooks will be monitored by specially trained personnel so that Mexican people will not come through that way.
Behold, the new Federal job of raccoonnookkeeper.
border bill battle
I notice there is no public outcry about the mounds of garbage left behind by the illegals as they sneak across the lands but endanger one little critter and may the Good Lord help us! Gag!
Rotten marxist P’sOS
You got that right!