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Tag: Interior Department

Interior Department Dispatching Officers to Help Secure Border with Mexico

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Interior Department is dispatching officers to help secure the border with Mexico.

Officers from the U.S. Park Police Planning Unit (USPP) and the National Park Service will help Homeland Security along the southwest border beginning May 13 as part of “Secretary [Ryan] Zinke’s offer of assistance to the Department of Homeland Security,” according to an internal email obtained by The Hill

The assignment is a dramatic departure from what USPP officers are traditionally tasked with doing – policing NPS property in Washington D.C., New York and San Francisco.

According to the email, officers will spend about three weeks stationed at two national parks and monument sites along the border – Amsted National Recreation Area in Texas and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.

Dispatching officers from the federal agencies is “the first of many steps Interior will take to secure the homeland.”

President Trump and I are 100 percent committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure, which is why I’m deploying some of Interior’s law enforcement officers to increase security on the southern border,” Zinke told the Hill in a statement. “Interior is ready, willing, and able to deploy a significant force to carry out the President’s mission.” 

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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