Press Release

Bishop Amendment to Modify Border Language in House Legislative Package Passes the House

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Washington, June 19, 2012 | melissa.subbotin@mail.house.gov | comments

WASHINGTON— An amendment offered by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) to modify the language of the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act passed the House. These changes will be applied to existing text of the bill, which is currently among those included in the 14-bill package to be voted on in the House later today.

“This legislation is the right thing for this country and these changes will take an important bill and make it even stronger. At the end of the day, this matter is far too important to go unaddressed and shoring up these trafficking corridors will help close the gaps that are preventing us from having a truly secure border,” said Bishop.

Specifically the amendment:

  • Clarifies that federal land management agencies may not prohibit border patrol efforts to “prevent all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband through the international land borders of the United States.”
  • Narrows the list of laws that may be waived by the U.S. Border Patrol from 36 to 16.  The original 36 laws were the same laws waived by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to construct portions of the border fence.
  • Specifically prohibits any additional access to private property.  The bill is written with specific intent to eliminate the possibility of border patrol reducing public access to federal land, including: hunting, fishing, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) use.  
  • Adds a provision to ensure and protect tribal sovereignty, stating that nothing in the bill may supersede, replace, negate, or diminish treaties or agreements with Indian tribes.  Existing practices of negotiation and cooperation between the border patrol and Indian tribes must continue.
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