I can't see this bill being anything but bad! I've studied and studied it, but even the border patrol and such don't think it's a good thing.
DHS has more than enough power as it is and this is something I really don't feel comfortable with. I don't think I'm the only one!
A bad bill for the borderUpdated 09:42 p.m., Friday, May 4, 2012
A bill under consideration by the U.S. House would cede control of all federal lands within 100 miles of our Mexican and Canadian borders to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, and would exempt that agency from having to comply with more than 30 environmental laws that currently protect those lands.
As reported by the Chronicle's Tony Freemantle ("Safe borders at what price?" Page 1, April 30), the bill would authorize CBP to construct and maintain roads, fences and operating bases, to patrol in vehicles and aircraft, and to install surveillance equipment in some of the nation's most unspoiled, environmentally fragile areas, including Texas' Big Bend and Guadalupe national parks and Padre Island National Seashore.
One would surmise that such a sweeping measure has to be a response to a current, urgent threat against our borders. But that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it has drawn opposition from many of the same agencies that it would empower.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before Congress in March that the bill is "unnecessary, and it's bad policy." Officials of the U.S. Border Patrol have testified that they enjoy a close working relationship with the National Park Service and other land management agencies.
As for external threats, the current border situation seems to be improving: Mexican immigration has stalled, due to such factors as economic conditions, lower Mexican birth rates and increasingly effective border control, according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center study.
Another problem with the bill is that it exempts all lands that are used for mining, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. Which leaves only those pesky parks and monuments and wildlife habitats that need to lose their environmental protections.
This bill does not pass the smell test.
When even some of the main stream media frowns on something like this and says so...it's bad! Let's just hope in never happens!
Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. We have a little rain and cool front here, and it's wet on the patio, ya know?