Friday, February 11, 2005

Another backdoor law

Damn, they're doing it again. First they snuck in the Patriot Act without any review or debate, now they're sneaking in another doozy, aimed at giving the head of Homeland Security eminent domain powers and then some:

"SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS. Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows: (c) Waiver- (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section. (2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court shall have jurisdiction-- (A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or (B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'."

Closely read, it prevents judicial review or action, effectively making the HS director a kind of mini dictator, and worse. It also includes a rider mandating proof of immigration status before obtaining a driver's license! This by-passes your local DMV, and the Department of Transportation rules and regulations. And as for your California pelican:

“(c) Waiver.—The provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 [16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.] and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] are waived to the extent the Attorney General determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section [amending this section].”

Remind me to stay away from Tijuana.

Seriously, folks, you might want to drop your Senator an eMail loudly protesting this little bit of lesse' majeste'. As of this writing, this neat item has already passed the House and is on its merry way to the Senate, where it will no doubt not be read unless you make some noise about it. Again, notify your Senator. Hell, write a letter to the editor. Write several. I know I will.

Excuse me, I have to eMail some people.

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