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Sierra Club Borderlands

Real ID Waiver Authority Compromises Our Borderlands

The unprecedented power granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) by Section 102 of the Real ID Act has been used multiple times to "waive in their entirety" thirty-seven federal laws. Although the Secretary of DHS is unelected appointee, with the stroke of a pen one individual has the ability to dismiss decades of protective laws passed by Congress and signed by presidents, all to circumvent local, state, and federal laws when constructing border walls. The waiver provision of the Real ID Act is a grave threat to the checks and balances within the United States Constitution. Furthermore, continuing to allow this type of precedent to stand is a threat to environmental protection across the country, not only on the border.

Federal laws waived by DHS for construction of border wall include:

  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Archaeological Resources Protection Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Noise Control Act
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act
  • Antiquities Act
  • Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
  • Farmland Protection Policy Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Wilderness Act
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act
  • National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act
  • Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956
  • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
  • Administrative Procedure Act
  • Otay Mountain Wilderness Act of 1999
  • California Desert Protection Act
  • National Park Service Organic Act
  • National Park Service General Authorities Act
  • National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978
  • Arizona Desert Wilderness Act
  • Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
  • Eagle Protection Act
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act
  • Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  • National Forest Management Act of 1976
  • Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960
  • Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act of 1977

Click here for more details on the Real ID waiver.

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