In total disregard for Southern Arizona's crime problem, Grijalva has introduced HR3287, the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness Act of 2007 that more than precious wilderness will preserve a corridor for drug and people smugglers.
Here’s the deal: the bill references for enforcement the National Wilderness Preservation System which prohibits “permanent or temporary roads, mechanical transports, and structures or installations… landing of aircraft,” etc... While the Act does reference a few exceptions, it’s clear that these restrictions cannot be reconciled with the border fence and the obvious need for Border Patrol agents to chase smugglers around the desert. Essentially, this corridor will be off-limits to the Border Patrol crime-fighting machine.
But as the Ronco super duper gadget guy says, “Wait! There’s more!” Check out Grijalva’s HR 2593 The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act of 2007 that calls for removing authority and responsibility from the federal government for border entry barrier decisions and replaces the border fence with “less intrusive” alternatives. Granted, it designates money to clean up some of the paths trodden by smugglers—it would be a shame if one of them stubbed a toe in route to a drop—but without Border Patrol agents and security infrastructure to keep people out, it’s a bit like seeding your dog run and expecting a beautiful patch of green grass to emerge.
We have so many no-tolerance policies these days that it’s hard to understand why we would be so compromising when it comes to protecting our families from criminals. Let’s see…one more wilderness area or protection from drug smugglers. It doesn’t seem too tough to me.
It looks like voters will have to turn to CD8 candidate Chewning in 2008 if it’s real protection they want.