Woulda been a wall there. Presidio County Commissioner points to where a wall almost stood. Instead they got massive flooding on both sides of the Rio. Other areas south of Falcon Dam have since been canceled. Are recent Obama appointments reason to cheer the demise of the Wall?
The blanket authorities granted Homeland Security by the 2006 Congress that have allowed border wall construction to move forward unhampered by any “antagonistic” contrary federal laws, laws such as the Native American Graves Protection Act or our cherished Clean Water and Air acts, thanks to language in The Real ID Act, are about to expire.
At least, that appears to be the message emanating from President Elect Obama's rollout of a powerful cadre of border-region lawmakers named to his cabinet and advisory teams in the past two weeks.
While the dubious choice of Hillary “Sniper Fire” Clinton to lead the State Department has marinated in editorial ink for more than a week, the collection of Southern Tier officials from New Mex Governor Bill Richardson, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (of “Show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder” fame), and experienced Homeland resister University of Texas at Brownsville President Juliet V. Garcia have given wall opponents reason for optimism.
A rumor circulating that Real ID opponent, U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, is on the short-list for the Secretary of Interior slot is feeding that excitement.
Grijalva, who had been scheduled to speak at a summit on Border Wall resistance this week, cancelled his appearance there. His press secretary in Tucson said that several cancellations have been made as Grijalva prepares to return to Washington for the upcoming session, but confirmed they are hearing the same rumors everyone else is.
“He has not been contacted by Obama's transition team,” Natalie Luna said. “But we have heard he is one of the names out there.”
In Texas, thousands of endangered acres maintained by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, and The Nature Conservancy, would be sealed off from the public under current construction plans. Anne Brown, VP of National Audubon Society, has fought hard to gain insight or information from Homeland about the wall that would likely force her group to close their 130-acre sanctuary to the thousands of area schoolchildren who enjoy the verdant reaches of towering sabal palms. She hasn't gotten much cooperation.
With the new leadership taking place, however, the chances of the Real ID Act being overturned are increasingly likely. “I would hope that they would `do that`,” Brown said. “Because I know what that would mean.” However, the final outcome “remains to be seen,” she said.