The borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico are home to thousands of species of wildlife – including endangered jaguars and ocelots.
But the construction of an enormous border wall and hundreds of miles of roads will have devastating impacts for the surrounding wildlife and communities – and could doom hopes for recovery of jaguars and ocelots in the U.S.
There is a better way. The Border Security and Responsibility Act (H.R. 2076) introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) will secure our borders and protect our wildlife and wild places.
Please send a letter to Congress today and urge your Representative to support legislation that secures our border and protects our wildlife.
Subject: Support the Border Security and Responsibility Act (H.R. 2076)
Dear Representative [Last Name],
As a conservationist and your constituent, I am writing today to urge you to support The Border Security and Responsibility Act (H.R. 2076) introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ).
[If you add a personal comment, it will be included here.]
This important legislation would provide a new approach to secure the border and protect our borderlands wildlife and wild places by:
* Repealing the REAL ID Act waiver authority and restoring the rule of law.
* Developing a new border security strategy informed by a comprehensive cost/effectiveness analysis of various border security alternatives.
* Developing a borderlands monitoring and mitigation plan to address the full range of ecological and environmental impacts of existing and future border infrastructure and operations.
* Requiring meaningful consultation with private landowners as well as public land and wildlife managers prior to additional construction.
* Temporarily suspending construction of additional miles of border wall until the necessary functional and cost assessments can be completed.
America's border with Mexico includes national parks, forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and other environmentally sensitive areas. These lands and the wildlife that depends on them for survival rely on federal, state and local laws for protection. Unfortunately, Congress has authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of border walls and roads to be built across these lands and has granted the Secretary of Homeland Security the right to waive all federal, state and local laws in the process of constructing the wall.
As a result, fragile habitat has been destroyed, ecologically important water flows have been disrupted, wildlife corridors have been severed and protected land has been damaged. There is no existing plan for monitoring or mitigating impacts on wildlife and the environment. Similarly, there has been almost no consultation with affected communities, or consideration of implementing more environmentally sensitive security alternatives.
Representative Grijalva's Border Security and Responsibility Act will restore the rule of law and ensure we have the most secure border possible without sacrificing our precious wildlife and wild places.
In the meantime, the Obama administration is allowing 50 miles of wall construction projects contracted under the Bush administration to be built across wilderness areas and wildlife refuges.
I urge you also to please write Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to ask her to suspend construction in these sensitive areas until DHS has completed its evaluation of border security to determine if walls are cost-effective.
I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.
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