IRLI Sues Forest Service for Records of Illegal Immigration's Environmental Impact on Border Federal Lands

March 22, 2018

 Enforcing laws and protecting our environment

  

WASHINGTON - The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, today sued the USDA Forest Service, seeking records related to data on the effect of illegal immigration on federal lands managed by the Service. IRLI attorneys filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as the Forest Service has failed to produce the requested records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

 

The high number of illegal crossings over many years along our southern border has had a negative environmental impact on the land in that area. IRLI’s lawsuit seeks to obtain records that give detail to that impact. The information requested includes the amount of Forest Service-managed lands that have been closed to the public since fiscal year 2015; estimates on the number of illegal border-crossers into two national forests since 2011; resource damage and wildlife costs caused by illegal campfires since 2013 on properties managed by the Forest Service; estimates on the amount of trash removed from each Service-managed property; and the number and annual cost estimates of law enforcement officers stationed at each Service-managed property    

 

“One of the most under-reported stories about illegal immigration is the damage it causes to the environment in border areas,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Tons of trash, abandoned vehicles and dangerous campfires are common along the border. The federal government needs to be transparent with the American people about the destructive impact illegal immigration has on our environment.”

 

The case is FAIR v. USDA Forest Service, No. 18-653 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia).

 

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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