Friday, April 18, 2008

Congress sets border walls hearing 4/28 in Texas

Endangered Ocelots, the Rio Grande and other values across the southwest are at risk from Bush's lawless border walls

TUCSON -- Taking on a critical moral issue of our time, US Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) has announced a Congressional field hearing on border walls as Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands of the House Natural Resources Committee.

“Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment.” is a field hearing that will focus on the construction of the border wall and the impacts it will pose to border communities and the environment.

The hearing will be held on Monday, April 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM, in the Lecture Hall of the Science, Engineering and Technology Building (SET-B) at the University of Texas-Brownsville.

Recently, Bush/Cheney Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced his decision to waive 36 laws and regulations, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act, to begin construction of 267 miles of fence along the border.

“The decision to invoke a waiver for fence construction will devastate the region and is an insult to those of us who live near the border,” Grijalva said. “This Administration believes that it is above the laws that protect the environment, health and human safety of border communities. We have a fundamental responsibility to consult with local communities on the best approach to border protection for each specific region.”

The hearing will also address Grijalva’s legislation, the Borderlands Conservation and Security Act, HR 2593. HR 2593 repeals the waiver authority granted to Secretary Chertoff under REAL ID and provides a proposal to mitigate damage to Federal and tribal lands from illegal border activity and border enforcement efforts by increasing coordination and planning between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal land management agencies and tribes.

The hearing is a joint effort of Rep. Grijalva’s Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans, chaired by Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Guam-at large).

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