Santa Cruz County votes to support drug cartelsby Hugh Holub on Jul. 13, 2011, under border issues, politics
From the Nogales International:
A proposal for the upcoming meeting of the National Association of Counties would see the organization support a bill that seeks to waive environmental laws on certain federal lands in the name of border security. But the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is critical of the plan, and passed a resolution last week urging the association not to back it.
The pending legislation, known as the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, or HR 1505, would exempt the Department of Homeland Security and its subordinate agencies from more than 30 environmental regulations on federal lands within 100 miles of any U.S. border or coastline.
The pending legislation, known as the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, or HR 1505, would exempt the Department of Homeland Security and its subordinate agencies from more than 30 environmental regulations on federal lands within 100 miles of any U.S. border or coastline. A resolution sponsored by five county officials from Utah and Arizona would have the National Association of Counties (NACo) urge Congress to pass the measure during its annual conference starting July 15 in Portland, Ore.
“A half-mile within the border, anybody can build a road and do what they need to do, and maybe that’s part of the environment that we need to sacrifice for the situation we’re in,” he said. “But I think 100 miles is really excessive.”
What’s more, Maynard said, federal authorities are already doing a good job within the current parameters.
“The Department of Homeland Security, I quite frankly think, has improved significantly the work they are doing on the U.S.-Mexico border,” he said.
Supervisor Rudy Molera joined Maynard in voting to oppose the NACo resolution.
“We have so much wildlife and plant life that is protected right near the border, and it’s critical that we take care of it,” Molera said.
COMMENT: First off Maynard is wrong about being able to build a road within a half mile of the border. No roads are allowed on federal wilderness areas including the Pajarita Wilderness Area just west of Nogales.
Mexican drug cartel smugglers exploit the lack of Border Patrol access to federal lands to smuggle drugs into the United States.
Border wilderness areas are especially open to smuggling as the Border Patrol cannot build the fence through these wilderness areas. No roads can be built in wilderness areas. And the Border Patrol cannot pursue drug smugglers except on foot or on horseback.
The Pajarita Wilderness Area west of Nogales is an especially egregious hole in border security.
For Santa Cruz supervisors to think the border is secure shows their utter lack of awareness of what’s going on in their county west of Nogales. I doubt if the two supervisors who voted against HR 1505 have ever set foot on Dan Bell’s ranch wet of Nogales.
Santa Cruz supervisors Maynard and Molera are more concerned about protecting plants and lizards in the borderlands than its residents.