Let’s Destroy Our Image and the Environment

Cruz

It’s still unclear if congressional Republicans will even pass a bill to handle the influx of undocumented children from Central America before they leave town for the August recess, but they continue to make demands on how to handle it.

They’re now blaming federally-protected land and wildlife for making the situation worse.

“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), who traveled to McAllen County, Texas, earlier this month to meet with officials about the surge of child migrants into the United States. [...]

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

A House Republican working group led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) this week recommended prohibiting the Interior and Forest Service from in any way hampering border patrol.

The great irony of Ted Cruz discussing matters that make the Border Patrol’s job more difficult is the fact that Ted Cruz has been urging his colleagues in the House to vote against any border bill that doesn’t roll back DACA and protections for possible victims of abuse and human trafficking.

The Border Patrol will begin running out of money over the next two months unless congressional Republicans act.

Let’s not forget this all being said and done in the name of deporting children as quickly as possible, and not just those who have recently crossed the border. Congressional Republicans want to deport anyone who is currently benefiting from deferred action, including DREAMers.

Furthermore, the children and families who have recently crossed the border have sought out and surrendered themselves to the Border Patrol. They are not using our environmental regulations against us by avoiding areas that agents supposedly cannot access. They want to be caught.

Congressional Republicans have pulled this environmental regulation canard straight out of their ass.

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  • muselet

    So Ted Cruz and other Rs think protected federal land along the southern border makes it harder for Customs and Borders Protection to do its job. That doesn’t sound unreasonable, except:

    [Rep. Raúl] Grijalva said the Homeland Security Department has repeatedly told Congress that land protections don’t hamper border operations.

    Strike one.

    [Kirk] Emerson [an environmental law professor at the University of Arizona] said federal land managers know how to accommodate border patrol officers, and noted that patrol officers are often the first ones to see environmental problems such as fires and report them.

    Strike two.

    “We have a very close working relationship with the border patrol, and I have never heard the border patrol ever complain,” [Dinah Bear, an environmental attorney and consultant who works with border advocacy group Humane Borders] said. “They are clearly puzzled as to why Congress keeps trying to give them more waivers of things that they don’t need.”

    Strike three.

    There must be something else going on, some other concern that the Rs have. Whatever could it be?

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who accompanied Cruz, wants border security to play a larger role in how federal officials manage land. At a hearing this week in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, she said officers sometimes cannot build roads or even trails on federal land.

    And there it is. Once those roads are built, why, it would be a crying shame to let them go to waste. Better to let resource extraction industries use the roads than tear them up or let them sit idle except for a few CBP vehicles.

    Are the Rs shameless or merely bought and paid for? I can’t decide.

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      Hate and racism make people say and do terrible things.

      • muselet

        Sure, and we’ve all seen the spittle-flecked rage Righties have directed at groups of unaccompanied minors. That doesn’t explain why the Rs are using a humanitarian crisis to advocate for (further) despoiling the border region. Up to now, they’ve been content to do nothing beyond repeating that It’s Obama’s Fault! at every camera pointed at them, and smiling benignly as their fellow Righties shriek and wave vaguely threatening, if eccentrically-spelled, signs at kids.

        I figure somebody—some industry—must stand to make a metric shit-ton of money off destroying the environmental value of public land. Otherwise, the Rs wouldn’t be so adamant about doing it.

        –alopecia

        • JMAshby

          It’s public (read: federal) land. What other reason do they need?

          This is the party of giving all federal land back to the states even though the states don’t have the resources to manage it.

          Maybe they’ll all dress up as frontiersman and go plant their flag on some vacant patch of land and manage it themselves.

          Wait, that would require leaving the couch.

          • muselet

            Point taken.

            –alopecia

    • trgahan

      “At a hearing this week in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, she said officers sometimes cannot build roads or even trails on federal land.”

      Except they already have a shit load of roads and trails to chose from…http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.10/border-out-of-control

      But this issues hasn’t been about reality since day one.

  • D_C_Wilson

    They’re just trying to bootstrap the rightwing agenda onto this issue. I’m surprised they’re not tacking on a repeal of the minimum wage as well.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Congressional Republicans have pulled this environmental regulation canard straight out of their ass.

    Congressional Republicans have pulled _________ straight out of their ass.

    Fill in the blank with any Republican claim for the past decade or three. Still a true sentence.