Aubrey Dunn, the Republican New Mexico Land Commissioner who switched to the Libertarian Party in January, opposes the Department of Homeland Security’s waiver that would have expedited construction of the border wall promised by President Donald Trump.
20 environmental laws were to be waived, including the Endangered Species Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen deemed “necessary” for the protection of the southern border from illegal entry.
Due the department’s actions Dunn stated “[T]he federal government has installed a border wall, infrastructure, and roads on state trust lands without state authorization and without compensation to the state trust,” in a letter to DHS Secretary.
To keep border patrol agents out of the land, the Commissioner installed “No Trespassing” signs until the DHS fills out an application or comes to another resolution. Dunn claims that this is a state sovereignty issue and that the compensation from the federal government’s use of the land can be used to fund public education.