He does not accept that Washington has ”handed giant swaths of land over to the drug cartels” – as we learned from government recommendations for citizens to avoid border parks (see BLM: Southern Arizona Is Dangerous Because Mexican Cartels Control It).
It’s an upside-down world, where citizens are warned to keep out of our shared public lands and Border Patrol agents are entirely prohibited, but illegal aliens are essentially in control. And we’re not talking about a tiny area close to the border, but 60 miles into Arizona.
Here’s a September 14 press release from the Congressman’s office:
Bishop and Fellow House Republicans Call for Hearing on BorderRep. Bishop appeared on Fox news recently about the issue (American Land at Risk):
Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) joined with 19 Republican colleagues from the House Natural Resources Committee on a letter to committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) requesting that a hearing be held in order to examine the increasing use of federal lands along the border for drug trafficking and human smuggling. The hearing will address current federal land management policies that have enabled federal border lands to be commandeered by criminal drug organizations as trafficking highways as well as the subsequent environmental damage that has resulted from the illegal activities.
In April, Congressman Bishop introduced, H.R. 5016, legislation that seeks to rectify current land management policies that restrict the U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) access to federal lands along the border and prevent the USBP from conducting routine patrols, which have proven to be an effective deterrent for criminal border activity.
”A simple internet search or scan of the news yields volumes of examples and incidents where our federally owned and managed lands along the border are being used by criminal organizations for the smuggling of drugs, humans and other contraband into the U.S,” said Congressman Bishop, who serves as the Ranking Republican on the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and is Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus. ”Our federal border lands are a haven for criminal activity. We have a responsibility to protect the citizens of this country and right now the weaknesses that exist on our federal lands are a serious threat to our national security. The time is long overdue for this Committee to fully examine this issue, and then act to fix the problems.”
Highlights of the letter:
”Drug smuggling, murders, human trafficking and other illegal activities have become prevalent on America’s public lands, including National Parks, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and other protected areas near our Southern border. In June, the Washington Post reported that since 2006 over 23,000 people have been killed due to drug violence in Mexico–violence that is spilling into, and through, our federal lands.”
”As the Committee of jurisdiction over the majority of our federal lands and considering the gravity of the current situation, we believe it is this Committee’s duty to act to ensure that both public safety and environmental protection are achieved on public lands by taking the steps necessary to fully secure the border against cartels and criminals. The American people deserve straight answers from the agencies responsible for protecting our borders and public lands. There is simply no excuse for allowing government policies to continue that hamper the Border Patrol and create paths of access to violent criminal activity. This situation is what led Republicans to introduce a legislative solution (H.R. 5016) that very simply ensures the Border Patrol has the authority to achieve operational control of the border on public lands.”
This sign unwelcomes American hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts to border-area parks in Arizona: