LatinaLista — News that the Department of Homeland Security had grown impatient with efforts by environmental groups, land owners and border towns to thwart the building of a border fence along the southwest border was no surprise.
The Bush administration plans to use its authority to bypass more than 30 laws and regulations in an effort to finish building 670 miles of fence along the southwest U.S. border by the end of this year, federal officials said Tuesday.
Only this morning, there was an announcement that Brownsville Mayor Pat M. Ahumada Jr. was the latest border city official to deny DHS access to city land. The Mayor plans to join a proposed lawsuit spearheaded by the Texas Border Coalition against the government’s intent to build the fence.
“We should make the federal government earn every inch to get on our land and not compromise,” Ahumada said
Evidently, the federal government doesn’t want to earn anything â€” they would just rather take in one of the most blatant abuses of federal authority.
â€œCriminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation,â€ said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. â€œCongress and the American public have been adamant that they want and expect border security.
Really? In the last poll on presidential issues, immigration and terrorism rounded out the bottom of the most pressing issues worrying Americans today, but that fact seems lost in light of the policy of the Bush Administration:
Force takes precedence over democracy.
Needless to say, reports are filtering up from the Rio Grande Valley that activists and others who have worked so tirelessly to make the federal government see reason are not going to quit now.
It is common knowledge that DHS wants to finish constructing this fence before the Bush term ends. That anyone could possibly think that such a barrier would be a proud legacy of a presidency that 98% of historians rate as a failure and 61% rate as the worst in the nation’s history, just underscores the fact how sadly out of touch this Administration is with the American people.
If DHS goes ahead with its plan of ignoring these laws and regulations, it will cement Bush’s place in history as a President for whom only one law exists â€” his own.