Congressman Environmentalist Regulations Making Securing US Border A Lot Harder
Environmental regulations are inhibiting Border Patrol agents from effectively stopping human and drug smugglers at the southern border, a congressional subcommittee chairman who recently visited the area told The Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.
Environmental regulations prevent Border Patrol from entering protected lands in vehicles, from building roads to access wilderness areas, and from filling tunnels cartels use to smuggle drugs, agents told Rep. Bruce Westerman, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Oversight Investigations subcommittee.
“We’re certainly handicapping ourselves,” the Arkansas Republican told TheDCNF in an interview. Smugglers are “crossing the border illegally, there’s illegal drugs involved a lot of times. There’s all kinds of laws being broken and I don’t think they mind breaking the environmental rules, either.”
Westerman’s comments come one day before his subcommittee will hold a hearing on the topic.
In some cases, Border Patrol agents may know where illegal crossings occur or where smugglers or other operatives are located, but can’t reach them quickly, because the areas either can’t be accessed with vehicles or aren’t allowed to be. Instead, agents are often forced to intervene on foot or on horseback. – READ MORE