U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today praised the passage of the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act which is included in the package of 14 measures within H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act. The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act enhances border security by ensuring that Border Patrol has access to Federal lands along the borders and is not prohibited from doing its job due to bureaucratic red tape.
"Under the guise of environmental protection, the U.S. Border Patrol has been restricted from conducting patrols on Federal lands. However, anyone who has been to the borders understands the environmental devastation that unchecked illegal immigration causes. The Border Patrol should have unfettered access to every square inch of the land close to the borders to detect, deter, and interdict drug and human smugglers, and other illegal aliens," Miller said. "We must gain and maintain operational control of the borders, and we cannot do that effectively if we tie the hands of the men and women of the Border Patrol. I am proud co-sponsor of the provision that would finally give our agents full access to this land."
Note: The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act indentifies 20.7 million acres of Department of Interior and U.S. Forest Service land which is some of the most highly trafficked areas used by cartels to transport drugs and humans into the United States. Currently, the U.S. Border Patrol has limited access to certain parts of this region due to a host of restrictive federal land management policies. In some cases, Border Patrol agents may only enter certain areas by foot or on horseback, which is an unnecessary and dangerous impediment. This measure would enable the Border Patrol to waive certain restrictions when access is deemed necessary to secure the borders.