No Regs Will Stop Border Fence
I reported earlier that the Dept. of Homeland Security was pushing the project through. Boy, are they!
On Sept. 22, the Sec. of DHS issued a Notice of Determination relative to the new barrier. It's amazingly strong, saying basically that in the name of national security, DHS is going to build the barrier, and every environmental regulation that could get in the way just plain won't. Here it is, without the references to federal code that are cited in the original:
In the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Congress provided that the Attorney General shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads (including the removal of obstacles to detection of illegal entrants) in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States. ... Congress granted to me the authority to waive all legal requirements that I, in my sole discretion, determine necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under section 102 of IIRIRA.Any federal regulation wonk will note their eyes widening when they get to the last act mentioned, the Administrative Procedures Act. That's the one that requires publication of findings, public hearings and other opportunities for public input and scrutiny. HSA intends to move this fence forward without any input from those who would put the specious "rights" of illegal border-crossers ahead of our right to live without being blown up by a terrorist who just crossed over from Mexico.
In the IIRIRA, Congress specifically provided for the construction along the 14 miles of the international land border of the United States, starting at the Pacific Ocean and extending eastward, of second and third fences, in addition to the existing reinforced fence, and for roads between the fences. In section 446 of the HSA, Congress expressed its sense that completing the 14-mile border project ... should be a priority for the Secretary of Homeland Security. Nearly nine years after the passage of the IIRIRA, the project remains incomplete.
In order to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads that Congress prescribed ... and which is an area of high illegal entry into the United States, I have determined that it is necessary that I exercise the authority that was transferred to me .... Accordingly, I hereby waive in their entirety, with respect to the construction of the barriers and roads (including, but not limited to, the conduct of earthwork, excavation, fill, and site preparation, and installation and upkeep of fences, roads, supporting elements, drainage, erosion controls, safety features, detection equipment, and lighting), all federal, state, or other laws, regulations and legal requirements of, deriving from, or related to the subject of, the following laws, as amended: The National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act , the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act), the National Historic Preservation Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. I reserve the authority to make further waivers from time to time under the authority granted to me, as I may determine to be necessary to accomplish the provisions of IIRIRA.
It was nine years in the making, but its one sweet piece of federal bureaucratic writing.