Legislation Introduced to Secure Border on Federal Lands
April 15, 2010
House National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT), House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-WA), Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Peter King (R-NY) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced legislation to prohibit the Department of the Interior (DOI) from using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol from securing our border on federal lands. The representatives say that as a result of DOI's actions, federal lands have become an unpatrolled highway that's open to criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists who endanger American lives and cause severe environmental damage. Just recently, they say, Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was killed by a criminal who entered and exited the U.S. on federal land through the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge. "This is one of the areas that Border Patrol has been unable to effectively monitor. The legislation would ensure that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Border Patrol are permitted to assert operational control over the border in order to carry out their mission as mandated by Congress. The bill would free DHS and Border Patrol from bureaucratic interferences that currently impact their ability to effectively secure the border on public lands."