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Letter: Proposed legislation will militarize borders

Proposed legislation will militarize borders

Northern state residents, beware. Congress is poised to let the Department of Homeland Security inflict upon the Northern border the same grave problems it’s already created on the Southern border.

From my porch here in Arizona, I can see the wall along the Mexican border. It stops wildlife migration and water flow. It doesn’t stop people. My neighbor saw a very pregnant woman come over it.

Sometimes, it feels like a military state here. Drones are watching us, 24/7. Roadway checkpoints force us to stop for inspection and questioning. Helicopters buzz our house. Border agents bristle with so much gear, they look like they’re just in from Afghanistan.

Politicians in Washington want to spend billions on even more of their ineffective walls, surveillance towers and sensors, drones, forward operating bases and roads so Border Patrol vehicles can speed through national forests and parks, wildlife refuges, conservation areas and even wilderness. It’s called the Secure Our Borders First Act.

The House version would order Homeland Security to report on whether it thinks terrorism threats along the Canadian border warrant new action there; it specifically cites “the maritime borders of the Great Lakes.” The Senate version would create zones of environmental lawlessness, exempting Homeland Security from having to comply with 16 different environmental protection laws on nearly all public lands within 100 miles of the Mexican border and the Canadian border – the Wilderness Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act and more.

Consider a 100-mile-wide Northern border zone. Imagine military-style operations having supremacy in Acadia National Park, the White Mountains, the Boundary Waters and Glacier National Park.

Please, join me in telling our representatives to oppose this legislation.

Margaret Case

Palominas, Ariz.