Republicans on the House Committee for Natural Resources hosted a forum this week to discuss the environmental impacts of Pres. Biden's ongoing border crisis. In each of the last two months, 170,000 illegal border crossers have been apprehended by Border Patrol agents, not to mention the countless number of individuals who crossed illegally and undetected.
As the GOP Committee Members pointed out, the border crisis, fueled by the Biden Administration's relaxed enforcement and asylum rules, is leaving behind a trail of garbage and destruction to natural areas.
"Despite President Biden's purported commitment to protecting our environment, his immigration policies will lead to the degradation of our border lands, including federally protected areas. When people illegally enter our country, they do not respect federal designations or the restrictions applied to those areas. As the Biden administration sets records for the number of people attempting to illegally enter our country, we can only expect exponentially more harms to our public lands."
-- Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
"Earlier this month, my district staff joined me and other volunteers to clean up garbage left behind by illegal border crossers. We spent the day with San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez and picked up over a thousand pounds of trash. The discarded garbage poses risks to our health, landscapes and wildlife. I was glad to help clean up our desert, but it served as a solemn reminder of the consequences of more and more illegal border crossings."
-- Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
You can watch the forum here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1V0-CymPsc
ARIZONA FILES NEPA COMPLAINT AGAINST BIDEN ADMIN
Last month, we told you that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for its failure to do an environmental impact study of its immigration policies.
Such analysis is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal law on the books since 1970. NEPA also requires the federal government to accept comments and feedback from citizens on likely environmental impacts of a proposed activity before it undertakes the federal action.
Not only does illegal activity along the Southwest border cause harm to our natural environments, as the House Natural Resource Committee pointed out this week, but large-scale legal immigration also has an environmental impact by resulting in the destruction of open spaces and increased use of natural resources in order to accommodate the additional population growth of far more than a million a year.
We began an effort this week to encourage more states to join Arizona in challenging the federal government to examine the environmental impacts of its immigration policies. You can also learn more about the effects of mass immigration in Arizona by reviewing NumbersUSA Arizona Sprawl Study.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Jun 15th 2021 @ 8:35am EDT