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-- brand new developments in the battle against illegal immigration as a new bill aims to give Border Patrol agents more powerful tools.
It would allow them to bypass 36 environmental laws involving millions of acres of federal land along the Canadian and Mexican border.
Right now Border Patrol agents cannot put up fences or set up surveillance equipment in national parks and forests within 100 miles of the border.
-- even use planes or cars to patrol those areas and in one spot Border Patrol agents were told they could not construct watchtowers.
If there's even one endangered antelope in the area.
Congressman rob bishop a Republican from Utah is -- chief sponsor of the new bill what you see it -- common sense legislation congress.
Definitely you know the Border Patrol does a great job where they're allowed to work and that's on private property.
It's only on public property that we don't allow the Border Patrol do their jobs and that is that's counter intuitive -- best.
Edward Markey is a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts he's on the environment I'm -- the national resources committee.
He says your plan is short -- and just nonsense.
-- quite frankly.
We have a problem on public property which has now been on the southern border basically ceded to drug cartels.
We have an amazing opportunity for the bad guys to come into this country.
And we have -- also the afternoon for terrorists -- -- his -- and into this country because we limit what the Border Patrol can do.
We don't need more Border Patrol agents we need to give them the access to do their routine patrolling and the only place we saw that is on public property.
I want to give them the same rights on public property that they already have on private property -- you say they are limited in what way what -- you mean.
It simply means if you come to an area that is considered a wilderness category or endangered species -- conservation habitat.
The Border Patrol must stop and do anything else on -- patrol bases on foot.
If -- -- in hot pursuit they might be able if they have a decent land manager working with them to continue want.
In some kind of hot pursuit but they are limited on what they can do on foot they're limited on what they can do by by -- transportation.
They limited where they can put tracking devices.
Public property and that once again makes no sense at all.
Why don't know why we want to help to tie our hands against.
That guy's trying to come into this country.
On public property when we don't do those same kind of restrictions on private property.
You mentioned -- we mentioned in the lead in the antelope that is also at the center of some of the controversy here.
If you want to build a watchtower you can't do it if there are antelope nearby.
Well the rule right now on which they have to operate is if they encounter one of those on those -- -- They have to back if you can only back up and you can't go more than 25 miles an hour doing it until the the animal has voluntarily left the area.
Which I thought I'd say it's a silly rule so even if you're chasing a drug suspects and there's an -- that comes between you and the suspect.
You gotta give way to the -- Actually that's a gray area if you're in hot pursuit you might be able to do it.
However if you have too many bad marks against you -- the land manager who protest but the Border Patrol does you endanger your career.
A lot of the Border Patrol will take the bit safer route which is not helpful to the American public.
I mentioned the opposition of congressman Markey earlier what do you think the chances are getting this legislation passed.
But I hope it's it's a no brainer it's the right thing to do the house already voted on similar language that was much broader and less specific.
A couple of years ago and it passed overwhelming the house of the senate has voice as voice vote at the same concepts a couple of times.
So once it's on the floor I don't think you can you can argue against the logic of what we're trying to do.
The reason we get specific list of the bills is basically the Interior Department said.
If you don't lists specifically what can be way for the Border Patrol to do their jobs -- patrolling.
We won't we won't -- we want accepted so -- listed what has historically been listed.
When we when we had to build a fence -- those for the same laws that were put that we're allowed to be suspended for the purpose of building the border fence.
Congressman rob bishop Republican of Utah thank you thank you.
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