Today President Obama announced the creation of a 600,000 acre national monument in New Mexico near the U.S.-Mexico border. Obama will bypass the Senate and Congress in order to declare the sanctuary, called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. In a statement provided to Breitbart Texas, Speaker of the House John Boehner said that the new monument greatly undermines border security.
“For many months I have warned that the president’s fondness for unilateral action has created widespread doubt among the American people that he and his administration can be counted on to enforce any law he signs, particularly when it comes to securing our nation’s borders and reforming our immigration system,” Boehner said. “Once again, the president has chosen to bypass the legislative branch — and, in this case, do so in a manner that adds yet another challenge in our ongoing efforts to secure our Southern border. At a time of continued cartel violence in Mexico, we should not be putting any additional restraints on efforts to protect our borders.”
Border Patrol may have limited access to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. It will be at the discretion of the Obama Administration how much access agents get to the land and if they are allowed to drive vehicles on it.
Juarez, Mexico, a dangerous city ridden with cartel activity, is right across the border from the targeted land. Critics of the new monument worry that impeding law enforcement’s efforts in the area could allow violence from Juarez to enter the U.S.
Boehner said said new restrictions in the area will “place additional burdens on Border Patrol personnel and limit access to high crime areas along the border, making it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move in and out of the country.”
The Speaker mentioned that not just federal authorities, but also local law enforcement, will be impeded in their efforts to keep the area safe.
“Today’s announcement will also limit access to these areas by local law enforcement who are vital to our efforts to prevent crime and counter drug activity in our border regions,” Boehner said.
Dona Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison told Breitbart Texas that the federal government never contacted local law enforcement for their opinion on the matter.
“Once the land becomes a national monument, local law enforcement can no longer effectively patrol the areas,” Garrison said. “When the Obama Administration makes it a monument, the existing roads there will close down. We will not have access to the land. I can’t go out and patrol the area like I do now, which lessens crime. If we cant get out there to control it, only law abiding citizens will follow the law and criminals wont.”
Boehner ultimately urged the president to give law enforcement access to the monument.
“The president should fix this immediately and make sure that federal and local officials have the access and tools they need to secure our borders and address the violent crime that has become all too commonplace along our Southern border,” Boehner concluded.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.