Immigration Hysteria Undermines Environmental Laws

This is a good one, y’all. If you ever doubted that there is intersection among progressive issues, doubt no more. A Republican is citing “operational control” at the border as a rationale for waiving environmental laws up to 100 miles inside of the border (including maritime borders).

“Operational control” is the incredibly Orwellian term referring to “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”

Clearly, the endangered species living near the border, clean water, and clean air are getting in the way of that operational control.

The Wall, US border, separating Mexico from th...

Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

Scott Nicol, writing for the Miami Herald:

“Under the guise of improving border security, Representative Bishop (R-Utah) is promoting a bill that would jettison environmental protection laws along U.S. borderlands – including those that protect endangered species and safeguard clean air and water.

The so-called National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, introduced by a visibly angry and red-faced Bishop during his committee hearing, would permanently exempt border enforcement activities from more than 30 federal protection laws within 100 miles of the U.S. borders, as well as all maritime borders.

On the Senate side, Republican Arizona senators John McCain and Jon Kyl have introduced the Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011, which would effectively give the Department of Homeland Security veto power over environmental protections on public lands within 150 miles of the border with Mexico.”

The author of the article is a member of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands Team.
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