Disorder at the Border

June 27, 2011 07:10

Agreements between the Homeland Security and Interior Departments on how best to protect the ecosystem are frustrating lawmakers who say they also prevent agents from conducting routine patrols.

by  Audrey Hudson at Human Events


Because of a pond inhabited by endangered pupfish, Border Patrol officers can use their vehicles to pursue illegal aliens only if the chase stays on the main road. If the pursuit veers into a 42-acre sector near the pond, officers must continue the chase on foot or horseback.

Border Patrol agents can’t drive vehicles into designated Wilderness areas, as well as certain areas of national parks and monuments.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has committed or spent more than $9.8 million for environmental mitigation and the price tag could go as high as $50 million, according to a document obtained by Human Events.

“If you ask the supervisors and managers if this has an impact on operations, they will tell you, ‘Hell yes,’” said Kent Lundgren, communications manager of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.

“The halls of the Interior Department are filled with environmental extremists,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.) said. “They will find any type of habitat or creature they can to make a case to stop job creation and use of federal land.”

“With limited access for patrols and monitoring, some illegal entries may go undetected,” the GAO said.


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