Democrats to Challenge Plans to Finish Border Fence

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fourteen House Democrats, including eight committee chairmen, said yesterday that they will file a brief supporting a legal challenge to the Bush administration's plans to finish building 470 miles of fencing and other barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) led the group, which includes the heads of the energy and commerce, transportation, intelligence, education, rules, and veteran affairs panels.

Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club asked the Supreme Court last month to review whether the administration's decision to waive environmental laws to finish the fence is constitutional. That waiver was approved by the Republican-led Congress in 2005.

"Our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence," said Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).

-- Spencer S. Hsu

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