Help Us Protect Our Borderlands!

Lower Rio Grande National Wildllife Refuge
Lower Rio Grande Wildlife Refuge
Photo Credit: Dan Millis


S.750 and H.R.1412 Are Too Extreme for the Borderlands

The Bush Administration took border militarization to the extreme when it waived 37 federal protections along the border. Unfortunately, pending legislation would take that waiver even further, exempting any surveillance or apprehension activity of the Border Patrol from “any” provision of law in some areas! Even the Border Patrol has opposed this kind of extreme proposal, stating that it can achieve its mission while working in compliance with public land laws such as the Wilderness Act.

Border wildlife, habitat, and landscapes are too precious to be sacrificed in the name of a problem that doesn’t exist.

Please take a moment to personalize the message below, and tell lawmakers that expanding the waiver of law in our borderlands is a bad idea:

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Please vote NO on S.750 and H.R.1412
These proposals are unnecessary, and would undermine the rule of law. S.750 and H.R.1412 would expand the waiver of law in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Instead of fostering collaborative efforts between government entities, it would encourage one U.S. agency to run roughshod over all others. The Border Patrol has stated on the record that as a law enforcement agency, it can achieve its mission of protecting America, including this country's public lands, while working in compliance with public land laws. The Border Patrol currently has "100 percent" access for its functions and operations. Indeed, there are thousands of Border Patrol agents on public lands across the West. In southern Arizona, Border Patrol agents not only operate and patrol but live and work in a forward operating base and camps on Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, both of which are more than 90 percent designated wilderness. S.750 and H.R.1412 seek to promote further border militarization, which has caused widespread environmental damages across the U.S. Southwest. Hundreds of miles of border walls have been built without regard for environmental protections. Studies show wildlife to be impacted negatively by border walls and associated roads, while people easily scale the walls or simply go around them. Walls have also caused or exacerbated devastating flooding in protected natural areas such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, and in border communities such as Nogales, Arizona. These damages are unnecessary, the walls that cause them don't accomplish their stated purpose they don't stop border-crossers. S. 750 and H.R.1412 would undercut the rule of law for hasty construction of border infrastructure. Waivers of law have resulted in border overkill - roads, towers, lights, sensors, and the incursion of thousands of Border Patrol vehicles and aircraft into remote, sensitive areas. This has a tremendous negative impact on natural, cultural, and historic resources in the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borderlands. Please oppose S.750 and H.R.1412. They are unnecessary and would result in further harm to historic, environmental, archaeological, and cultural resources in our borderlands. Thank you for considering my comments.