Monday, October 24, 2011

Establishing Operational Control

It finally made the papers that two and one-half weeks ago the Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee approved the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act which does nothing to look out for natural resources or protect federal lands.

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall have immediate access to any public land managed by the Federal Government (including land managed by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture) for purposes of conducting activities that assist in securing the border (including access to maintain and construct roads, construct a fence, use vehicles to patrol, and set up monitoring equipment).

As you can see from the text, it gives Homeland Security carte blanche to do whatever they want on public lands in order to achieve operational control. So what is "operational control"? You have to look at the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Operational Control Defined - In this section, the term `operational control' means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.

The news about this bill says that it applies to a 100-mile zone along the borders with Canada and Mexico. I don't think that's the case. Carefully read Section 2(c)(1) of the proposed bill. It's convoluted as all get out but it looks to me like the law would apply to within 100 miles of all international land and maritime borders of the United States. Wouldn't that be nice?

The really curious part about this is the support for this legislation from the Motorcycle Industry Council. Who knew so many motorcycle riders have been endangered by terrorists infiltrating our borders?

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