Gloom-and-doom predictions of environmental devastation won’t stop construction of a border wall. A federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama is clearing the way.
Recent news articles and opinion pieces have blasted President Donald Trump’s promised barrier. Among the headlines:
Border wall would kill natural treasures and change the environment; Congress is quietly letting Trump bulldoze a butterfly refuge to build a border wall; Border wall could divert bears, bighorn sheep from a comeback trail; and Trump’s wall will harm endangered species.
The wall wasn’t implicated in global warming, but overheated opponents are surely working their way up to that.
Meantime, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security has broad authority to issue waivers to construct border barriers.
“Both Congress and the Executive [branch]share responsibilities in protecting the country from terrorists and contraband illegally entering at the borders. Border barriers, roads, and detection equipment help provide a measure of deterrence against illegal entries,” Curiel wrote in his 101-page decision.
You may remember Curiel as the judge who incurred Trump’s wrath over a class-action suit against Trump University. The Obama appointee got the wall decision right by affirming long-standing case law and constitutional authority.
Lest environmental activists suffer a complete meltdown, Homeland Security officials pledge to proceed with caution.
Deputy DHS Director Elaine Duke says the federal process for obtaining building permits is “way more complicated” than state and local procedures. For example, the feds must go through the courts instead of negotiating directly with local officials.
DHS recognizes the imperative of “Balancing the urgency of the mission’s need with the needs of the people and the environment,” Duke said in January, before Curiel’s ruling.
Sure, there are some environmental implications to the wall, but having millions of people traipsing through the wilderness, leaving tons of trash along the way, is not exactly healthy for the flora and fauna.
NumbersUSA cataloged some of the degradation caused by the influx of illegal aliens crashing America’s southern border. In addition to littering the landscape with everything from soiled diapers and beer cans to rotting food and hypodermic needles, border-busting migrants set fires, cut new “roads” and scatter abandoned vehicles across the southwest desert.
Still, four major environmental groups remain implacably opposed to a border wall. FAIR this month called out green activists for their disconnected and contradictory positions.
“Unchecked immigration policies make it nearly impossible [to]protect and manage the diverse and delicate ecosystems throughout the United States,” FAIR noted. It doesn’t take an environmental scientist to know that effective protection begins at the border.