Grijalva Presses Zinke on Diversion of National Park Police to Border – Seeks Answers on Next Steps, Cost to Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Rember Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today pressing him for information on Zinke’s recently announced decision to send National Park Police personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border as part of President Trump’s ill-defined and poorly thought-out border security efforts.

Treating the Department of the Interior (DOI) or National Park Service (NPS) as border security agencies, and ordering staff to participate in operations normally handled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), raises a number of questions that Zinke failed to address when making the announcement. Grijalva’s written questions to Zinke include:

1 – How much will this deployment cost?

2 – Did DHS ask for additional assistance with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol enforcement objectives along the border? If so, how did the DOI coordinate with DHS to determine the appropriate personnel to deploy?

3 – What specific activity will be conducted by U.S. Park Police? Will NPS personnel be responsible for arresting, detaining or holding individuals? If so, please describe the relevant training that prepares U.S. Park Police to “stop illegal border crossing.”

4 – Of the various National Park Service assets on the U.S. border with mexico, how were these two sites selected?

5 – The U.S. Park Police is traditionally located in three urban areas: San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. How will this deployment impact law enforcement personnel in these locations? How will the deployment impact law enforcement capabilities at other national parks?

6 – You stated that this deployment is “the first of many steps Interior will take to secure the homeland.” What other steps does DOI plan to take?

The letter is available at http://bit.ly/2KRACcz.

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana (Grijalva)

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile