Texas' Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure that houses endangered ocelots, rare palm trees, and a host of other plants and animals. It's popular with birders and butterfly enthusiasts, and houses unique terrain — exactly the sort of national resource that we should be protecting.
It also lies along the projected path for the border wall. Customs and Border Patrol, along with the Department of Homeland Security, want to fast track construction through the refuge by using the REAL ID Act to waive federal laws requiring an environmental impact statement and other checks on construction on federal land. This issue is already in court, with attorneys arguing the government is overstating the scope of the REAL ID Act.
It's up to the Trump Administration to do the right thing and make America great again by protecting priceless national heritage that showcases the ecological and cultural diversity of the United States. A construction project of such massive scale should be carefully assessed before embarking on construction, and stakeholders should be consulted to determine its impact.
Don't use the REAL ID Act to cut corners: Do this transparently and by the book.
Photo: Master Steve Rapport/Creative Commons