Attentive readers of Grist’s news feed will know that yesterday Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff waived a few laws in order to get going on the 700-mile border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. A judge ruled a few weeks ago that Chertoff was steamrolling the environmental review process and should halt construction immediately, but since one of those lovely post-9/11 laws gave Chertoff the power to waive whatever the f*ck laws he wants, that didn’t have much effect.

Chertoff says that delaying construction of this particular 7-mile bit of the fence — which would pass through the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, a biologically diverse watershed that’s home to some 250 kinds of migratory bird — would present "unacceptable risks to our nation’s security."

"I have to say to myself," said Chertoff, "Yes, I don’t want to disturb the habitat of a lizard, but am I prepared to pay human lives to do that?"

Why, 100 people have probably been killed by Mexican farmworker terrorists while we’re having this silly conversation!!!

So what laws did Chertoff said aside in order to protect us from the Mexican Scourge? NRDC offers this list:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act
  • Superfund
  • National Environmental Protection Act
  • National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Archeological Resources Protection Act
  • Historic Preservation Act
  • Antiquities Act
  • Noise Control Act
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act
  • Farmland Protection Act

Those laws, you see, are just there to protect lizard habitats. The fence is there to protect The Homeland!

I feel safer already.