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Congress Members Urge Napolitano to Restore Rule of Law Along Border

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Aired 6/23/09

Twenty-seven members of the U.S. Congress have asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to respect all laws along the U.S. Mexico border as they build the border fence. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, about 40 miles of fencing are still under construction in environmentally sensitive areas.

Twenty-seven members of the U.S. Congress have asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to respect all laws along the U.S. Mexico border as they build the border fence. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, about 40 miles of fencing are still under construction in environmentally sensitive areas.

The more than two-dozen members of Congress want Secretary Napolitano to respect laws her predecessor set aside to make way for the border fence.

Former Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff waived all state, local and federal laws along the border. They include the Endangered Species, Historic Preservation and Clean Water Acts.

The Congress members petitioning Napolitano say the lack of compliance has damaged public lands and public trust.

Matt Clark is with Defenders of Wildlife. He says no one should be above the law and the Secretary needs to abide.

"To minimize and avert potential disastrous consequences for very environmentally sensitive areas like the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area," he says.

The Otay Mountain Wilderness is federally protected and home to endangered species.

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