President Obama yesterday used his executive power to designate 500,000 acres of desert along New Mexico's southern border a national monument. It's a move being praised by environmentalists and ... slammed by John Boehner, who called it "a level of audacity that is remarkable even for this administration." What's the big deal? Well, Boehner and others argue the move could undermine security along the US-Mexico border, Politico reports. "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," Boehner said. "At a time of continued cartel violence in Mexico, we should not be putting any additional restraints on efforts to protect our borders."
Customs and Border Protection say the move "will in no way limit our ability to perform our important border security mission, and in fact provides important flexibility as we work to meet this ongoing priority." But critics point out there are no terms to allow local police to patrol the area—which includes ancient lava flows, rock outcroppings, hunting areas, and Billy the Kid's Outlaw Rock, the AP reports—which is something that could have been addressed if the motion had passed through Congress. The White House has countered, noting the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument could generate $7.4 million in economic activity through tourism and other revenue.