GOP Bill Would Empower Border Patrol to Secure U.S.-Mexico Border without National Guard Help

April 26, 2010 19:37

Is common sense trying to get a foothold in Washington DC? don’t count on it.

By Edwin Mora at

Legislation recently introduced by House Republicans would “prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands.”

The bill’s supporters believe that, if it is passed, the bill will allow the U.S. Border Patrol to secure the southern border without the assistance of the National Guard.

During an April 14 press conference, Republican sponsors of the bill indicated that the Interior Department’s interference with the Border Patrol’s congressionally mandated operations had opened the 20.7 million acres of public land along the southern border to illicit activity, which is often associated with illegal immigration.

“We are introducing this bill today simply because the Department of Interior and, to a lesser extent, the Forest Service, have failed to protect American citizens,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), ranking member of the House Public Lands subcommittee who is sponsoring the legislation.

“Unfortunately, the land managers that are down there on the (southern) border have placed the wilderness characteristics of the land and protection of existing or potential endangered species as their number one criteria, and because of that, the border patrol has been impeded from doing their job,” said Bishop.


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