President Obama announced today that he is bypassing the Senate and Congress to create 600,000 acre national monument near the U.S.-Mexican border in New Mexico. The sanctuary, called Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, has received sharp criticism from Republicans and law enforcement, who claim it will impede border security. Today, in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce blasted Obama’s decision to establish the sanctuary through unilateral action.
“President Obama’s announcement today that he will establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument flies in the face of the democratic process,” Pearce said.
The president will establish the monument using the Antiquities Act, a tool for the Executive Branch to lock up land for environmental reasons.
Pearce continued, “The President’s reckless use of his executive powers also takes away assurances of border security for county residents, soil and water conservation, hunting and motorized vehicle access. I was elected to represent the people of Southern New Mexico, and President Obama ignored the people of Southern New Mexico with the stroke of a pen.”
Jill McLaughlin, Communications Director for Pearce, told Breitbart Texas that last year the New Mexico congressman introduced a bill that would have protected the rights of land owners, hunters, and law enforcement in the area.
“The president bypassed the legislative process,” McLaughlin said. “It is very disappointing.”
Serious security concerns have been raised regarding the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Obama Administration may significantly limit Border Patrol agents’ access to the land and additionally prohibit them from driving 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.
Pearce concluded, “Residents of Doña Ana County deserve the assurance that first responders and Border Patrol can protect the public, flood control structures will be maintained, ranchers will have their grazing rights, and hunters can have the access they’ve always enjoyed.”
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