On April 1st, 2008 the US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff publicly announced that the
Department of Homeland Security would waive a number of environmental and cultural protection laws in order to expedite
the building of the border wall along the US/Mexico border.
In his deceleration, Chertoff wrote that he was waiving these laws "in their entirety," and was dong so in order to expedite
the building of the wall. But what's worse is that Chertoff's deceleration does not seem limited to the immediate time period
when the wall is being built.
The waiver deceleration clearly states that in addition to applying to the period of time when the wall is being built, the
waiver also applies to the "upkeep of fences, roads, supporting elements, drainage, erosion controls, safety features,
surveillance, communication, and detection equipment of all types, radar and radio towers, and lighting." What this seems
to mean is that the waivers of environmental and cultural protection laws will remain in effect for the entire period of time
that the finished wall remains in existence.
To read more about the waivers please click here.
To read more about how the international border is affecting the conditions on the Tohono O'odham Reservation please
click on the home page button on the navigation bar or click here.
The image below was taken on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in Southern Arizona. The
international border bisecting the lands claimed by the United States and Mexico is shown
below. This border cuts the traditional O'odham territory in half.
The militarization of the border region has significantly restricted the ability of members of the
Tohono O'odham to travel to sacred sites and visit relatives on the opposite sides of the border.
Photograph taken by Jeffrey D. Hendricks, Feral Futures Photography