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?"

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

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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.

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