WASHINGTON, DC - April 1 - Today, Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that he is imposing a blanket waiver of
environmental and land management laws along 470 miles of the U.S./Mexico
border. Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club have asked the U.S. Supreme
Court to review the constitutionality of this controversial waiver, tucked away
in the “Real ID Act,” as a flagrant violation of the separation of powers
principle that frames the U.S. Constitution.
Below is a statement from Rodger Schlickeisen,
president of Defenders of Wildlife.
“Thanks to this action by the Bush administration,
the border is in a sense more lawless now than when Americans first started
“Laws ensuring clean water for us and our
children—dismissed. Laws protecting wildlife, land, rivers, streams and places
of cultural significance—just a bother to the Bush administration. Laws giving
American citizens a voice in the process—gone. Clearly this is out of control.
“It is this kind of absolute disregard for the
well-being and concerns of border communities and the welfare of our wildlife
and untamed borderlands that has
forced Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club to take a stand and say ‘No
“Just a few weeks ago we filed a petition with the
U.S. Supreme Court to fight the unconstitutional authority the Bush
administration has seized to waive any and all laws it views as inconvenient in
its rush to build an unpopular, ineffective border wall. Today’s egregious abuse
of power is more proof that this cannot be allowed to continue.”
Learn more about what Defenders is doing for species along the border.
Defenders of Wildlife
is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural
communities. With more than 1
million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate
for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to
come. For more information, visit