May 14, 2008

Fence violates Tiguas' rights

Planned border wall blocks Tiguas from sacred groundsProposed border fencing in El Paso could cut off the Tiguas' access to parts of the Rio Grande the tribe has used for centuries to conduct sacred ceremonies.

"It is an infringement on our First Amendment right of freedom of religion," Tigua War Captain Rick Quezada said this week.
Why it's happening:Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he would use waivers to sidestep about 30 laws and ensure the fencing could be completed this year. One of the laws Chertoff said he would ignore is the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

That announcement was one reason U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, signed onto a legal brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the waivers.
Comment:  This is another example of how Americans "honor" Indians in theory while ignoring or harming them in reality.

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