Washington, D.C.—Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva responded to the announcement by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff to issue two waivers:
“Secretary Chertoff is abusing the authority granted him by the Congress with this ham-handed waiver.
“With the stroke of his pen, he overturns 36 laws – some of which have been protecting our resources and our health for more than a century — in an area stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.
“It is a ridiculous claim that he cannot protect the border without overturning the National Park Service Organic Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Antiquities Act, the Native American Graves Protection Act and 31 other laws.
“These waivers are an attempt to wreck more than a century of protections for our resources and the health of our communities by an Administration on its way out of town.
“A waiver this broad and poorly conceived is not leadership; it is laziness.
“My legislation, the Borderlands Conservation Security Act, HR 2593, will set a precedent that communities must be consulted. HR 2593 upholds that there must be a public process and transparency with border security initiatives. HR 2593 does not impede or deny border security but it restores confidence in this government to uphold laws as it pursues security.
“This waiver undermines our communities and denounces our resources for a wall that will not make the border stronger.”