Increasing Pressure on Trump, Dems Hail National Congress of American Indians Resolution Predicating Border Wall on Tribal Consent

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Norma Torres, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, today hailed the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) for resolving, at its just-concluded Executive Council Winter Session, to oppose border wall construction on Native American land without tribal consent. The resolution increases pressure on the Trump administration and its Republican allies to explain how they intend to build their wall along the U.S.-Mexico border without the consent or support of the Tohono O’odham Nation – whose opposition to the wall has been highlighted in the Washington Post and elsewhere and whose land is included in Rep. Grijalva’s district – or that of other affected Tribes.

The new NCAI resolution, available at http://bit.ly/2lclhqo, also opposes the use of so-called Section 102(c) waivers under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive all legal requirements that he determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of border barriers and roads. A list of federal laws previously waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security is included below. 

“The Trump administration and its apologists in Washington thought they could kick out immigrants, build a wall and tear up our social contract while we stood idly by, and today they’re learning just how badly they deluded themselves,” Grijalva said. “Native American communities have had their sovereignty trampled, their rights ignored and their resources taken for too long. Opposition to this wall unites our tribal brothers and sisters across the country, and I pity any administration official who thinks he’s going to swagger down to the border and set them straight with tough talk. This resolution is a serious statement that Native Americans will not be bullied and will not be moved, and I wholeheartedly stand with them in this effort.”

“Our tribes have the right to be consulted when the federal government proposes to build an ineffective, ill-conceived wall through their sovereign land,” Rep. Torres said. “I stand with our tribes in opposing this wall and the additional hardship it will cause Indian Country.”

Federal laws waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security for construction of border wall include:

National Environmental Policy Act

Endangered Species Act

Clean Water Act

National Historic Preservation Act

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Clean Air Act

Archaeological Resources Protection Act

Safe Drinking Water Act

Noise Control Act

Solid Waste Disposal Act

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act

Antiquities Act

Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Farmland Protection Policy Act

Coastal Zone Management Act

Wilderness Act

Federal Land Policy and Management Act

National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act

Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act

Administrative Procedure Act

Otay Mountain Wilderness Act of 1999

California Desert Protection Act

National Park Service Organic Act

National Park Service General Authorities Act

National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978

Arizona Desert Wilderness Act

Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899

Eagle Protection Act

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

National Forest Management Act of 1976

Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960

Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act of 1977

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