Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Waivers Enrage Environmentalists and Property Owners

The Department of Homeland Security has promised to finish another 470 miles a fence on the southern border to add the already finished 309 miles by the end of the year. To do so Secretary Michael Chertoff will exercise authority given his office by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 to waive environmental laws. This has outraged environmentalists who argue that the fence will disrupt the migratory patterns of animals and disrupt the habitats of endanger species. Their law suit before the Supreme Court already challenges portion of the fence in Arizona. Now they will amend the suit to include the entire project. Property owners have long opposed the fence, because in divides their lands in bizarre ways. Ironically, their claims may get a more sympathetic hearing in this court than the environmentalists. (See NY Times article.)

The NY Times points out in an editorial that undocumented workers far from being a drag on Social Security actually contribute towards its solvency. They pay into it, but don't draw from it. The windfall is even recognized and anticipated by the the Social Security trustees.

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