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The Importance of Challenging One Man’s Attempt to Rise Above the Law

LatinaLista — What has erupted between the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, and the US-Mexico border residents over the border fence construction is a showdown that is more than just a challenge of the federal government — it’s defending against the arbitrary decisions made by one man.
Sec. Chertoff feels that the law is a cumbersome process and one in which he has no time nor patience for. So, he authorized that 30 laws and regulations be ignored so the construction of the fence can proceed.
One by one, groups have risen up to challenge Chertoff’s decision saying it’s blatantly unconstitutional.
The latest challenge came today from 14 Congressmen who have given notice that they are filing a brief in the US Supreme Court against Chertoff.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to issue waivers to expedite the construction of a wasteful fence along the Southwest border is disappointing at best. As a former Border Patrol Sector Chief and current Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, I know the importance of securing our borders and fully support providing our agents with strong tools to carry out their jobs. I do not, however, support DHS’s continued disregard for border communities. This recent attempt to bypass more than 30 laws and regulations to pursue an already ill-advised idea should not move forward,” added Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes.

One of the major consequences of this border fence is the closure of two major nature preserves in South Texas. For a region of the country that depends on tourist dollars that come and see these nature preserves, it is a major blow to the local economy.
So why doesn’t Chertoff, a.k.a. the government, care more? Care more for preserving the Constitutional rights of its citizens or care more for one of the major ways a poor region creates income for its towns.
Because — he doesn’t live there.


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  • Publius
    April 8, 2008 at 6:13 am

    If you’re going to cite the Constitution, Marisa, please do it by Article or Amendment. You make broad and sweeping generalities without stating which constitutional rights are being ignored. Most environmental laws have a national security loophole from which to escape their provisions, so merely stating that Chertoff is violating them tells only half the story. National security issues have always trump all other concerns. Calling Chertoff a criminal without noting this fact is simply using this issue to incite hate an discontent (demonizing) without all the facts being presented.

    April 8, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Suddenly we have a pro illegal alien supporter stating rule of law. How convenient it must be to pick and choose which laws should be upheld and which should be ignored. The immigration laws that have been broken by millions of people are the ones that should be enforced. The fence, as inpractical and expensive as it is, will be a visual man-made structure that will at least slow down illegal immigration into the U.S.

  • Frank
    April 8, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Chertoff believes that border security for all Americans is far more important than a few people’s feelings and I agree with him. If we are all blown to kingdom come because terrorists snuck through our unsecured southern border what are the selfish whiners going to say then? Oh, that’s right they will all be dead along with the rest of us!

  • Marisa Treviño
    April 8, 2008 at 9:49 am

    The fence only slows down illegal immigration for a matter of minutes – literally. Yet, the fence will wipe out the livelihood of people who depend on the nature preserves to bring in the tourists who wouldn’t otherwise visit the area.
    It’s not an even trade-off and certainly not fair. No, this time there’s just isn’t any logical justification for a fence that the majority of people who live in the area do not want and fear for the quality of their lives.

  • Frank
    April 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Sorry, Marisa but you are wrong. Where there is a 14 mile double layered fence in the San Diego area, it has detered illegal immigration by 80% or more. The fence is unclimbable. Before the fence there were over 200,000 aprehensions a year there. The aprehensions are down to about 9,000 a year now in that area.
    People can find new livelihoods and new business ventures. Things are always changing and people adapt. Better that than being dead from a terrorist attack.

  • Horace
    April 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    The environmental laws are immoral! We should disobey all laws enacted by the enviro-nazis! All you environmentalists are anti-humanity demons, as you vote for the interests of critters and weeds over the welfare of the American people. Anti-humans! Anti-humans!
    Whew! Evelyn Ranting is extremely cathartic!

  • laura
    April 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    The only purpose of that fence or wall is to throw a bone to the immigrant haters. That is why Bush and Michael “Katrina” Chertoff are pushing for it, that is why all 3 presidential candidates voted for it, and you can see right here on this site how the little doggies are jumping up at the bone.
    What is some environmental destruction when you can please a small but very loud constituency?

  • Frank
    April 8, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Yeah, right! Congress, etal are all up in airs over the concerns of a few in this country, lol.
    Here is a good article.

  • Frank
    April 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Laura, “immigrants”? Don’t you mean illegal aliens? You don’t know the difference?

  • Hran
    April 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    I don’t hate immigrants. I like the ones I know. And I know a lot of them, from all parts of the world. However, I don’t want to be ethnically cleansed from my own country.
    As for Bush, he has no problem with opening the floodgates to Mexico and the rest of the world. Isn’t that obvious? So, yes, the fence thing is probably just throwing a bone to us. He’s not convincing me of anything, though.

  • Gene Bigler
    April 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    None of the persons who have committed terrorist acts entered the U.S. across the unfenced border. The idea that the fence will stop terrorists is simply fear mongering.
    What we know about the fence is that it is tremendously costly, that it is easily breached, that it will interfere with border culture and ecology, and that it may slow down or divert illegal immigration to sea or other routes for entering the U.S.
    Let’s be sensible. If we took the money from the fence and the increased size of the border patrol and provided it in low cost business and agricultural development loans in Mexico and Guatemala, I am certain we would reduce the flow of illegal immigration much more rapidly and boost the flow of American exports to these countries.

  • Frank
    April 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Gene, the FBI Director himself has said that people from known terrorist countries have gotten thru our porous southern border and disappeared into our country. Just because there hasn’t been a terrorist act committed YET whereby it can be proven that the terrorists came thru our southern border doesn’t mean squat.
    We should take ALL necessary steps to protect this country from terrorists. That would include securing both of our borders, our ports and airspace. Besides the possiblity of terrorists entering that way, what about illegal aliens violating our immigration laws?
    Building the fence isn’t any more costly then other methods of securing our country and is necessity when you consider that at a minimum at least 12 million people were able to get thru our southern border illegally. Where this double layered fence has already been erected on our border it has been proven to be quite effective.
    A physical barrier will help the BP to do their job more effectively. It would be cheaper in the long run than to hire thousands more BP and paying them wages and benefits for eternity.
    Border culture? You are either American or Mexican and there is a geographical line to divide our two countries. All the trash being left behind by the illegals isn’t a good ecological thing either.
    I hear nothing but lame excuses from the pro-illegal side when we should be united as a nation to protect our soveirgnty and our borders.

  • Horace
    April 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    “Let’s be sensible. If we took the money from the fence and the increased size of the border patrol and provided it in low cost business and agricultural development loans in Mexico and Guatemala, I am certain we would reduce the flow of illegal immigration much more rapidly and boost the flow of American exports to these countries.”
    Why should the US do this? It’s common knowledge that the greedy tax avoiding rich of Mexico are capable of doing this for their own people. Again apologists for Mexico ignore that much of Mexico’s woes are self-inflicted due to poor management of resources. By caving into such apologists claims only lets these people off the hook and is patronizing to Mexican themeselve.

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