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CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: 11/9/10 - OBP005831-OBP005833 RE_ Border Fence Mega-Waiver (Final) 3

CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: 11/9/10 - OBP005831-OBP005833 RE_ Border Fence Mega-Waiver (Final) 3

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Published by CREW
CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; FOIA Request: CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Date Received: 11/9/10;
CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; FOIA Request: CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Date Received: 11/9/10;

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Published by: CREW on Nov 12, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/06/2012

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From:To:Cc:
Subject:
RE: Border Fence Mega-Waiver
Date:
Friday, March 28, 2008 8:57:18 AM
Below is a previous Observer article on the issue;we may want to have some Q&As ready on someof the specific issues mentioned here.----------------------------------------------------------------------No Wall Will Stop the Wave
November 16, 2007| Political IntelligenceFENCING OVER THE FENCE
Tucked into the 2005 federalReal ID Actis a little-noticed provision,Section 102,that gives the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security unprecedented power to suspendany law that stands in the way of building a wall along the border. In late October, for thethird time, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff used the act to waive statutes—19 inthis case—protecting water and air, endangered species, migratory birds, and archaeologicalsites, among others. He did so after theSierra ClubandDefenders of Wildlife convinced a  judge to issue a temporary restraining order halting work on a 2-mile section of fence thatcuts through Arizona’sSan Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.A district judge inWashington, D.C., agreed with the environmental groups that the government had failed toadequately assess the environmental impacts of the wall.On November 1, the two groups amended their lawsuit, alleging that the Real ID Act violatesthe Constitution. According to the amended complaint, Section 102 “violates the U.S.Constitution’s fundamental Separation of Powers principles by impermissibly delegatinglegislative authority to a politically appointed Executive Branch official.”Though centered on Arizona, the legal challenge has major implications for South Texas,where construction on the border wall has not yet started. A court victory for theenvironmental groups could derail Chertoff’s plans for Texas, says Scott Nicol, fromWeslaco and a member of theNo Border Wallcoalition. “[Homeland Security] will have tocomply with all our nation’s laws including the Endangered Species Act and the MigratoryBirds Treaty Act,” he says.Biologists and Texas border residents warn that the wall could deal a serious blow to thebinational ecology of the Rio Grande Valley, the most biologically diverse region in the U.S.and an epicenter of migratory bird populations. The latest map of the wall shows 21 segments
OBP005831
 
(b) (6)(b) (6)
 
totaling about 70 miles between Roma and Brownsville. The wall would erase miles of riparian habitat, splitting the 90,000-acreLower Rio Grande Valley National WildlifeRefuge, a decades-in-the-making wildlife corridor and home to the spotted ocelot, of whichonly 100 remain in the world.The Sabal Palm Audubon Centerin Brownsville would besealed off from the rest of the United States, leaving this rare grove of palms stranded in ano-man’s-land. It would also damage the Texas economy. Ecotourism in the Valley brings inan estimated $150 million annually.The Border Patrol says the wall will enhance the environment by deterring illegalimmigration. But the fight has just begun. From Laredo to Brownsville, communities on bothsides of the border have called on the Bush administration to abandon its plans to divide theregion. Some mayors are even refusing to give the feds access to public land.
From:
 
Sent:
Friday, March 28, 2008 7:17 AM
To:
 
Subject:
FW: Border Fence Mega-Waiver
FYI Secure Border InitiativeU.S. Customs and Border Protection
For more information about the Secure Border Initiative, visitwww.cbp.gov/sbior contact us atSBI_info@dhs.gov.
Chertoff’s Border Fence Mega-Waiver
 March 27th, 2008 at 7:15 pm
The Texas Observer
We don’t usually write about rumors but this one has too many implications for whatremains of our civil liberties to ignore. We have received a few emails and calls today aboutthe possibility thatHomeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff may post notice in theFederal RegisterFriday that he is going to waive all environmental rules to build the borderwall in South Texas. The waiver may blanket Texas or the entire Southern border fromCalifornia to Texas in a giant mega-waiver.Chertoff has that ability thanks to Congress and theReal ID Act of 2005. He has alreadywaived environmental rules in California and Arizona to put the border wall on the fast track.His goal is to have 670 miles of fence built along the Southern border by December 31, 2008.In an
Observe
rblog last week, we wrote about lawsuits filed by Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife challenging Chertoff’s imperial powers.We called Homeland Security in Washington D.C. in an attempt to get confirmation on thewaiver. A spokesperson for the agency Amy Kudwa would not confirm a waiver in thepipeline, and said Homeland Security had no announcements today about a waiver.Next we called Noah Kahn, a refuge program manager forDefenders of Wildlife, inWashington D.C.. Kahn said he had heard several credible rumors swirling around D.C. in
OBP005832
 
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