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Published on Jun 25, 2010
Even though the U.S. has lost control over many parts of Wilderness areas, Parks, Wildlife Refuges and Monuments along our southern border with Mexico, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has introduced S. 1689, the Organ Mountains -- Desert Peaks Wilderness Act. This legislation would designate 259,000 acres on or near the Mexican border as Wilderness. The Border Patrol is prohibited from using motorized vehicles or mechanical equipment in Wilderness, thus creating the safe havens for human and drug traffickers. By federal statute, the Border Patrol has unencumbered access to all private land within 25 miles of the border. The revised version of S.1689 restricts Border Patrol access to 5 miles. If Congress has already deemed it necessary for the Border Patrol to have access to all private land for 25 miles, why does Senator Bingaman want to restrict that access to 5 miles on federal land?