In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the Real ID Act, which gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to waive all laws (other than the U.S. Constitution) to expedite the building of a wall on both our northern and southern borders. To date, DHS has waived 48 federal laws and countless state and local laws enacted to protect our environment, history, religious freedom, fiscal integrity and Native American tribes. Litigation brought by environmental groups, cities, and even the State of California have thus far failed to successfully challenge this law. On February 27, 2018, Federal District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel upheld the authority of DHS to waive these laws in order to expedite the construction or replacement of border walls (click here for a list of all 48 federal laws waived).
People are especially outraged about how waiving environmental laws will affect wildlife that inhabit our borderlands. What may be less well understood is how these waivers will affect human communities in close proximity to the border.
In the days ahead, Friends of the Sonoran Desert will will highlight each of the laws that has been waived, tell you why that law was originally enacted, and outline the potential consequences of waiving that law, for all of us. We hope you will share these posts with your friends.
To build a wall on our southern border, 48 federal laws enacted to protect our public lands, the health and culture of our citizens, and our nation’s wildlife have been cast aside. Forty-eight laws. It is mind boggling. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.