In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security began the construction of a second, massive border wall along the US-Mexico border through private property, national and state parks, wildlife preserves, sacred lands. The construction was speeded along by a provision of the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005. Section 102 of the Real ID Act gives unprecedented authority to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to waive any local, state or federal law “to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” for border security. Here you can reada legal analysis of this provision written by an environmental attorney who worked in both Clinton & Bush administrations. This provision of the Real ID Act allows the uncontested waiver of laws that protect the environment, local communities and the human right to a secure environment. The waiver authority, in the hands of one appointed official, contradicts the rule of law, and excludes the voices and ideas of environmental scientists, human rights advocates, and local community members from the democratic process.
Greg Rainoff’s film examines this process from the perspective of the San Diego/Tijuana region. You can watch it on Snagfilms here: