STUDENTS WIN STATE BAR SCHOLARSHIP
Kevin Hernandez (3L) and Taylor Faught (3L) were awarded the Buck Wynne Memorial Scholarship—established by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section —for attaining the highest grades in TAMU Law’s Natural Resources Law and Policy class, taught by Professor Casado Perez.
RECENT STUDENT PUBLICATION
Kevin Hernandez (3L) recently published in the Harvard Latinx Law Review an article entitled The Implications of Environmental Law and Latino Property Rights on Modern-Age Border Security: Rejecting a Physical Border and Embracing a Virtual Wall. Hernandez wrote an initial draft of the article as a paper for Professor Fatma Marouf’s Immigration Law class, then revised and expanded the paper for publication.
The article explores the impact of a physical border wall on the environment and on Latino communities in the border region whose land would be directly affected. It examines how the Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 (“IIRIRA”) granted the Attorney General authority to waive provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) in building a border wall, and how Congress subsequently extended that waiver authority in the Real ID Act of 2005 and the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
Hernandez contends that the duration and scope of the waiver power are limited, and that environmental protection challenges can be brought under the NEPA and ESA. The article also discusses the economic costs involved in building a physical wall, including the costs of compensating landowners for eminent domain and protecting endangered species. Finally, Hernandez proposes a virtual wall that would rely on modern technology and have a less harmful overall impact.