WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after President Obama designated a new restrictive national monument area in New Mexico, and failed to include important additional protections for border security:

“For many months I have warned that the president’s fondness for unilateral action has created widespread doubt among the American people that he and his administration can be counted on to enforce any law he signs, particularly when it comes to securing our nation’s borders and reforming our immigration system.  The president’s announcement today intensifies those concerns, demonstrating a level of audacity that is remarkable even for this administration.   Once again, the president has chosen to bypass the legislative branch -- and, in this case, do so in a manner that adds yet another challenge in our ongoing efforts to secure our Southern border.  At a time of continued cartel violence in Mexico, we should not be putting any additional restraints on efforts to protect our borders. 

“What’s particularly disappointing is that even Senate Democrats recognized the need for additional border security protections, including them in their own legislation on this issue.  Yet the president and his administration have chosen to ignore those efforts, and the concerns that its new restrictions will place additional burdens on Border Patrol personnel and limit access to high crime areas along the border, making it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move in and out of the country.  Today’s announcement will also limit access to these areas by local law enforcement who are vital to our efforts to prevent crime and counter drug activity in our border regions.  The president should fix this immediately and make sure that federal and local officials have the access and tools they need to secure our borders and address the violent crime that has become all too commonplace along our Southern border.”

NOTE: Legislation (S. 1805) introduced by New Mexico’s two Democratic Senators to create this national monument included specific border security protections to ensure that the U.S. Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies have adequate access the southwest border to do their job.  In the House, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced similar legislation, though smaller in scope and size, that enjoyed significant support in large part because it focused on the most environmentally-sensitive areas, took into account state and local concerns, and included additional border protection.  The president’s announcement today does not include similar protections.  More information is available from the Natural Resources Committee and  Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT).