Filed under: Environment, Freedom, National Security | Tags: Border Patrol, Department of the Interior, Homeland Security
On March 27, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was murdered by an unknown gunman who entered and exited the U.S. illegally in an area where border agents are widely prohibited from using motorized vehicles, constructing roads or installing surveillance structures.
Four Republican congressmen introduced legislation on Wednesday that bans the Interior Department from using environmental regulation to forestall Border Patrol access. The congressmen say that their bill will address environmental degradation of federal lands and help to close national security gaps along the border.
Securing the borders against illegal entry is a matter of national security, and the illegals who cross the border do considerable damage to the environment as has been shown on videos of the area. Internal documents show that the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service have actively prevented Border Patrol agents from securing U.S. borders by requiring Department of Homeland Security officials to complete lengthy environmental analyses, and even blocking agents from entering some areas.
And DHS has paid the Department of the Interior more than $9 million since 2007 to “mitigate the environmental damage” of protecting the border. That would be the areas where the Border Patrol is restricted from using motorized vehicles, building roads or installing surveillance. A 2009 memorandum of agreement agrees that DHS will pay DOI an additional $50 million for mitigation funds, but DOI officials have not revealed how those funds will be used.
This is typical of Big Government. Congress has passed their regulatory tasks off to governmental agencies, and the right hand seldom knows what the left hand is doing. Not that Congress does a good job of regulation, but at least there is some oversight, and they are responsible ultimately to the voters. But government money is easily shuffled around. If we could track the useless and unnecessary expenditures, hold a lot of official feet to the fire, perhaps tax day wouldn’t be so painful.