House approves waiver of border environmental laws
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow the Border Patrol to circumvent more than a dozen environmental laws on all federally managed lands within 100 miles of the borders with Mexico and Canada.
Supporters said the measure is needed to give border agents unfettered access to rugged lands now controlled by the Interior Department and Forest Service. Laws such as the Wilderness Act and Endangered Species Act often prevent agents from driving vehicles on huge swaths of land, leaving it to wildlife, illegal immigrants and smugglers who can walk through the territory undisturbed, they said.
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