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Republicans Blame Environmental Protections on Curtailing Flow of Illegal Immigration

Rep. Ted Cruz

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans are complaining that environmental laws intended to protect land and wildlife are hampering efforts to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, The Hill reports.

About 800 miles along the Mexico-U.S. border – or 40% of the land – is controlled and protected by the Interior Department.

The federal land protections are restricting CBP’s access to the border and its ability to build infrastructure or install surveillance equipment.

“There is no doubt that the restrictions on accessing land along the border have made it more difficult for the Border Patrol to do their job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Republicans said smugglers exploit areas they know are protected.

“It seems a commonsense reform to say that the border patrol should be able to fully access and patrol the border,” Cruz said.

Democrats disagree with the assessment that CBP’s work is hampered by environmental laws.

“If they’re talking about the most recent influx, it’s happening in areas that have nothing to do with protected federal lands,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. “So I think it’s a specious argument to continue their anti-conservation agenda.”


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