Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) announced that the full House Natural Resources Committee will hold a markup Thursday on the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act [H.R. 1505]. Congressman Bishop introduced the legislation on April 13, 2011 in an effort to address the U.S. Border PatrolвЂ™s limited access to millions of acres of federal lands located along the U.S. Border.
вЂњWhile I agree that the issue of illegal immigration must be addressed, we must first secure our borders. It makes absolutely no sense to bail water out of an overflowing tub before you turn off the faucet. H.R. 1505 addresses one of the prevailing challenges our country faces with regards to border security- the U.S. Border PatrolвЂ™s inability to routinely access federally owned land located along the border.
вЂњMillions of acres of public land located throughout the border region are among the highest trafficked areas by drug and human smugglers. Cartel operations and other criminal entities know these areas are protected by onerous federal land management policies that prohibit the Border Patrol from maintaining a routine presence and therefore utilize them for travel into the U.S. We cannot secure the entire border unless the Border Patrol is granted access to these areas. Passing this legislation is an essential step that cannot be avoided in our efforts to secure the border, improve national security, and ultimately tackle the challenging issue of illegal immigration,вЂќ said Congressman Bishop.