Republicans, Local Sheriff Warn Border Wilderness Zone Will Create Vast Drug Corridor

Article author: 
Kristin Tate
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
20 May 2014
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

A pending proposal from President Obama to create a vast new wilderness area on the U.S.-Mexico border is drawing criticism from Republican lawmakers and local law enforcement officials who say it would significantly impede border security.

The Obama administration is set to designate a 600,000 acre national monument in south-central New Mexico to be managed and controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, a federal agency. The designated land will be called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and environmentalists have long-sought the designation.

Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, the chairman of a key subcommittee, blasted the plan in a letter Monday, saying it would allow the region to become an unfettered drug corridor.

"National Parks, monuments, and wilderness areas along our southern border have become prime drug-trafficking corridors for violent criminals and drug cartels. Restrictive environmental laws within these federal corridors limit Border Patrol access and, as a result, make it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move their drugs and people in and out of the United States unnoticed," Bishop, who is chairman of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation subcommittee on the House Natural Resources committee, wrote...

"The Southwest Border Sheriffs opposed the it, and the New Mexico Sheriffs oppose the it. Their input and testimony has been summarily suppressed in the media. It is past time their voices are heard," Taylor said...


Related article

House Judiciary Committee Chairman: Give Border Patrol Access to Border 'Monument', Brietbart, May 21, 2014

On Wednesday President Obama is expected to announce that he will bypass the Senate and Congress to create a 600,000 [acre] "monument" near the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico. Republican politicians and law enforcement alike have offered sharp criticism of the monument, which in their view will impede Border Patrol efforts to keep U.S. citizens safe. On May 2, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released a statement urging Obama to give Border Patrol agents access to the land.

Border Patrol may have limited access to the sanctuary, which will be called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Obama Administration will have discretion over how much access agents get to the land and if they are allowed to drive vehicles on it...

On May 2, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released a statement urging Obama to give Border Patrol agents access to the land...

Goodlatte said in his statement, obtained by Breitbart Texas, "If President Obama is going to designate half a million acres as a national monument, then he needs to make sure that the Border Patrol has access to it in order to keep Americans safe from illegal activity along our borders. Unfortunately, Obama Administration officials have so far prevented Border Patrol agents from securing the border by denying them access to federal lands under the guise of environmental preservation."...

"Unfortunately, documents show that the Departments of Interior and Agriculture are using environmental regulations to prevent the Border Patrol from accessing portions of the 21 million acres along the U.S.-Mexico border and over 1,000 miles of the U.S.-Canada border," Goodlatte's Press Secretary said in a statement...



Related article

Only Cartels Benefit from Obama's Border 'Monument,' says Former Border Patrol Association,  Brietbart, May 22, 2014

...The Obama Administration will ultimately control how much access Border Patrol agents will have to the land, including whether or not they will be able to use vehicles...

Taylor concluded, "The Obama Administration is using 'environmental concerns' as a tool to bypass Congress and take over the land. By doing so, he is completely ignoring national security and public safety."...



It makes perfect sense to protect fragile desert ecosystems for future generations of all species. Setting aside areas as National Monuments works - in a perfect world. But we do not live in a perfect world. I have travelled to Organ Pipe National Monument a number of times over the past thirty years. When I first visited the area, the solitude and pristine desert landscape presented immense beauty. Here are some photos I took of Organ Pipe National Monument.

Twenty years later, things had changed for the worse. Much, much worse. In 2004, I arranged a tour with Frosty Wooldridge of the Monument with Park Rangers, under condition of anonymity, as part of an extensive tour of the Arizona border. The rangers showed us first-hand how the once pristine western third of the park was criss-crossed with countless trails cut by illegal aliens and drug smugglers. The National Parks Conservation Association stated:

Undocumented [illegal alien] border crossings have created hundreds of miles of illegal roads and trails, left huge quantities of trash and debris, and drained or polluted the monument's precious few natural water sources. Natural and historic resources are often found covered in graffiti or destroyed by fires set by border crossers."

Subsequently, half of the monument was closed due to the danger from illegal alien and drug runner traffic.

Other border monuments an wildlife refuges have been similarly impacted by illegal alien traffic. Two former Border Patrol agents explained to us how dangerous the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge was - due to illegal alien and drug runner traffic. They explained how the U.S. Border Patrol was restricted from actively policing these areas because of purported impact on natural areas. This lack of enforcement has been even further exacerbated by the Obama Administration's deliberate policy of non-enforcement of immigration law.

I consider myself to be a strong environmentalist. I know from first-hand research and investigation that the only viable way to protect our fragile southern desert ecosystems is to secure America's border from invasion. Conversely, expanding territory of national monuments along the border would actually foster direct and long-term destruction to the land that the monuments would be created to protect.

- CAIRCO Director Fred Elbel