WASHINGTON — A group of House Republicans say Border Patrol agents should be granted direct control over U.S. borders, even on federal lands managed by other agencies.
Lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday to transfer control of federal border lands to the Department of Homeland Security, instead of the Interior Department or Forest Service. The lawmakers say the change is needed to improve border security. They cite the March 27 death of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz as an example of the failure of current policy. Law enforcement officials say Krentz's killer likely entered the United States through the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge in Arizona.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said federal border lands have become a dangerous, "unpatrolled highway."