Nothing is more vital to a nation’s sovereignty than its ability to protect and control its territories, and that’s why it’s so appalling that the federal government essentially has given control over U.S. land to Mexican drug and smuggling gangs.

Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the federal government is charged with providing for the common defense, which includes protecting America’s borders. Although small compared to the vastness of the border, this implicit bequeath of U.S. territory occurred in 2006 during President George W. Bush’s Administration and continues unabated today, despite U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s assertion that the border is more secure than ever. This section of land lacking any meaningful security presence is a global advertisement for al Qaeda to hire these Mexican human smugglers to get them safely into America to launch attacks on us.

News reports today lay the lack of control over this area to the United States’ environmental laws. This Roman-esque outcome — a great nation rotting from within as it does little to defend itself — could only occur in a country that spends enormous amounts of time and money debating how much cleaner our already clean water, air, or land needs to be before we can stop placing purity ahead of prosperity. In our haste to protect the environment, we hasten our own demise.

Let’s also not forget, that while environmentalists are busy decrying border security measures, drug traffickers and smugglers are causing environmental damage of their own from trash, soil erosion, and destruction of property. Yet, environmental laws are halting the very infrastructure that could prevent this damage. Brilliant.

This reality is appalling and must come to end before al Qaeda successfully transports a nuclear weapon aboard one of the daily flights between Tehran to Caracas, then up the America Highway and through the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge straight to New York City, Washington, DC or Los Angeles.