SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah congressman says giving the U.S. Border Patrol greater freedom to crack down on illegal immigrants on federal land would be a step toward greater border security.U.S. Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, District 1, told Utah legislators on Tuesday that border agents should be free to patrol federal as well as private land. Areas most affected include the Arizona-Mexico border, where some land is environmentally protected.Bishop and other House Republicans introduced a bill in Washington early last year to transfer operational control of lands along the federal border to the Department of Homeland Security, instead of the Interior Department or U.S. Forest Service.The agencies would still manage public lands, but wouldn’t have authority to block border agents from acting to secure certain areas.
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