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Determination Pursuant to Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as Amended

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Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.


Notice of determination.


The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border of the United States.


This Notice is effective on April 3, 2008.

Determination and Waiver: The Department of Homeland Security has a mandate to achieve and maintain operational control of the borders of the United States. Public Law 109-367, Section 2, 120 Stat. 2638, 8 U.S.C. 1701 note. Congress has provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to accomplish this mandate. One of these authorities is found at section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (“IIRIRA”). Public Law 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-554 (Sept. 30, 1996) (8 U.S.C 1103 note), as amended by the REAL ID Act of 2005, Public Law 109-13, Div. B, 119 Stat. 231, 302, 306 (May 11, 2005) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), as amended by the Secure Fence Act of 2006, Public Law 109-367, Section 3, 120 Stat. 2638 (Oct. 26, 2006) (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), as amended by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, Public Law 110-161, Div. E, Title V, Section 564, 121 Stat. 2090 (Dec. 26, 2007). In Section 102(a) of the IIRIRA, Congress provided that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads (including the removal of obstacles to detection of illegal entrants) in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States. In Section 102(b) of the IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on not less than 700 miles of the southwest border, including priority miles of fencing that must be completed by December of 2008. Finally, in section 102(c) of the IIRIRA, Congress granted to me the authority to waive all legal requirements that I, in my sole discretion, determine necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of the IIRIRA.

I determine that the area in the vicinity of the United States border as described in the attached document, hereinafter the Project Area, which is incorporated and made a part hereof, is an area of high illegal entry. In order to deter illegal crossings in the Project Area, there is presently a need to construct fixed and mobile barriers and roads in conjunction with improvements to an existing levee system in the vicinity of the border of the United States as a joint effort with Hidalgo County, Texas. In order to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads that Congress prescribed in the IIRIRA in the Project Area, which is an area of high illegal entry into the United States, I have determined that it is necessary that I exercise the authority that is vested in me by section 102(c) of the IIRIRA as amended. Accordingly, I hereby waive in their entirety, with respect to the construction of roads and fixed and mobile barriers (including, but not limited to, accessing the project area, creating and using staging areas, the conduct of earthwork, excavation, fill, and site preparation, and installation and upkeep of fences, roads, supporting elements, drainage, erosion controls, safety features, surveillance, communication, and detection equipment of all types, radar and radio towers, and lighting) in the Project Area, all federal, state, or other laws, regulations and legal requirements of, deriving from, or related to the subject of, the following laws, as amended: The National Environmental Policy Act (Pub. L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 852 (Jan. 1, 1970) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)), the Endangered Species Act (Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 884) (Dec. 28, 1973) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act) (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), the National Historic Preservation Act (Pub. L. 89-665, 80 Stat. 915 (Oct. 15, 1966) (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.)), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), the Archeological Resources Protection Act (Pub. L. 96-95, 16 U.S.C. 470aa et seq.), the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), the Noise Control Act (42 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.), the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act (Pub. L. 86-523, 16 U.S.C. 469 et seq.), the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 431 et seq.), the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.), the Farmland Protection Policy Act (7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.), the Coastal Zone Management Act (Pub. L. 92-583, 16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (Pub L. 94-579, 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (Pub. L. 89-669, 16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (Pub. L. 84-1024, 16 U.S.C. 742a, et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (Pub. L. 73-121, 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), the Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668 et seq.), the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. 2000bb), and the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 (31 U.S.C. 6303-05).

I reserve the authority to make further waivers from time to time as I may determine to be necessary to accomplish the provisions of section 102 of the IIRIRA, as amended.

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Dated: April 1, 2008.

Michael Chertoff,


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[FR Doc. 08-1096 Filed 4-1-08; 2:03 pm]