Law Enforcement Organizations, Property Rights Advocates and Agriculture Groups Call for Passage of Border Security Legislation


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2012 - Multiple national and local groups from across the country have come together to call for the passage of H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act. Led by National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), H.R. 1505 would prohibit the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol from securing our border on federal lands.

Some of the most dangerous areas along the southern border are the 20.7 million acres of DOI and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land. This includes 4.3 million acres of “Wilderness areas” where activities such as the use of motorized vehicles and construction of roads and structures are prohibited. Documents show that the DOI and the USFS have consistently and actively taken steps that prevent the Border Patrol from securing our borders on federal lands. The legislation would ensure Border Patrol, not federal land managers, have operational control of our borders.

H.R. 1505 passed out Committee in October and is awaiting further action by the full House. The legislation is supported by a wide array of organizations:

National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers

“This bill is brilliant in its simplicity and is written in such a manner that anyone can understand that its purpose is to send a resounding message that the people of the United States are serious about establishing complete border security.”

National Border Patrol Council

“On behalf of the National Border Patrol Council which represents 17,000 Border Patrol Agents, we strongly support passage of H.R. 1505. For years, the federal government has used environmental regulations to block access for our Border Patrol agents to the over 20 million acres of federal land along the U.S./Mexican Border. This lack of access has resulted in an increase in criminal activities such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. It has also handicapped and endangered the Border Patrol Agents who are expected to secure these areas day in and day out. H.R. 1505 will give our Agents the tools they need to properly secure the border and protect themselves from criminals intent on doing harm.”

Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council- Tucson, Arizona

“On behalf of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1544, which represents over 3,200 Border Patrol Agents in Tucson, Arizona Border Patrol Sector, we strongly support passage of H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act.”

National Association of Police Organizations

“On behalf of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), representing 241,000 rank-and-file police officers from across the United States, I would like to advise you of our support for the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505). NAPO supports the efforts to enhance border security on federal lands thus making enforcement easier for agents. Currently, Border Patrol Agents are unable to access portions of the 20.7 million acres along our Southern borders and 1,000 miles of our Northern borders. H.R. 1505 allows authorization to the Secretary of Homeland Security to have access to any public lands managed by the Federal Government for the purpose of securing the border.”

Motorcycle Industry Council

"An unsecured border that allows terrorists or other law-breakers to roam our public lands represents a real threat to riders who wish to responsibly recreate near these lands. H.R. 1505 would ensure that the Border Patrol has the necessary tools to secure our border and to help ensure the safety of riders.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

“Cattlemen and their families and indeed all Americans living along the border live with the constant threat of danger. That threat is exacerbated by the misguided implementation of environmental regulations that hamstring US border patrol agents to effectively do their jobs Dangerous and aggressive drug and human traffickers coming across the border are usually armed and aren’t afraid to harm ranchers who are only trying to go about their daily business. This bill would allow for the access and surveillance equipment border patrol agents need to protect these lands and our members. We thank Congressman Bishop for taking a stand on the side of America’s ranchers and on the side of America’s security.”

Public Lands Council

“Our members along the southern border are suffering huge losses, including livestock weight loss, constant fence and waterline repairs, manmade fires that damage forage and infrastructure, and general harm to the range and the resources public lands ranchers manage. This isn’t just costing our industry millions; it’s costing lives. Congressman Bishop should be commended for leading the charge in the House to ensure our nation’s border patrol is able to secure the border at the border. Public lands ranchers stand ready to help ensure this legislation becomes the law of the land.”

Jena Baker McNeill, Former Senior Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation

“Without full access to border lands for the Border Patrol, no amount of manpower, weapons, or other technology will help get control of the border…Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the Border Patrol full access so that lands are environmentally preserved and that Americans can safely enjoy them? Instead, without action, the Obama Administration is enticing lawbreakers to make these lands the next big corridor for smuggling…The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (HR 1505), would ‘prohibit the Department of Interior (DOI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol from securing [the] border on federal lands.’ Getting serious about drug trafficking and controlling the border requires better interagency cooperation than what is currently at work. If the Obama Administration is serious about getting control of the border, it should take a hard look at this problem.”

Full List of Supporters:

Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
BlueRibbon Coalition
California Cattlemen’s Association
Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council- Tucson, Arizona
Motorcycle Industry Council
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
National Association of Police Organizations
National Border Patrol Council
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Off-Road Business Association
Public Lands Council
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
Save the Trails
Specialty Equipment Market Association
Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
Stewards of the Sequoia
United Four Wheel Drive Associations


Contact: Jamie Hennigan

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