Editorial: Fence infringes on Tigua Tribe's rights
"A wall being constructed along this country's southern border is an infringement on everything from good sense to the environment, and now the Tigua Indians can be included on that list.

If completed as planned, the fencing could block access to areas of the Rio Grande that the tribe has used over centuries for the celebration of sacred ceremonies.

Tigua War Captain Rick Quezada said this week about the situation, "It is an infringement on our First Amendment right of freedom of religion."

That's a solid argument, but rights mean nothing to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who is using rights and laws to wipe his boots as he struggles to complete 675 miles of the border wall before year's end. Completing the wall is a Bush administration obsession that will brook no interference from mere laws or rights, and one of the laws Chertoff said he would ignore is the American Indian Religions Freedom Act.

What a horrible precedent that will set if allowed to continue: The government obeys its own laws only when it chooses to do so. If the law is inconvenient or obstructive, ignore it, walk around it."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Border wall: Barrier tortures rule of law (The El Paso Times 5/15)

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Border fence blocks Tigua Tribe from sacred site (5/14)
House Resources Committee hearing on border fence (4/28)
Environmental laws waived for fence along border (4/2)
Border fence exempted from NAGPRA, other laws (11/21)
Rider waives NAGPRA, sacred site protections (10/26)