Tribal-federal government collaboration in homeland security
Kueny, Monica R.
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Each day, more than fifteen hundred illegal immigrants enter the United States through the tribal lands of the Tohono Oâ odham Nation, and more than twenty-five other tribes have land on or near the international borders or shorelines of the United States. Beyond borders, tribal lands cover fifty-six million acres of trust lands that include a wide variety of national critical infrastructure, that often provide the backbone of non-tribal regional infrastructure. Although federal-tribal relationships have long been rooted in a unique relationship defined by the sovereignty of each government, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 defines tribal governments as local governments. The shift virtually ignores decades of treaties and U.S. Supreme Court rulings that established the special relationship between tribes and the federal government. Despite the recent addition of the word â tribalâ to many Department of Homeland Security documents, this action fails to outline the mechanisms for collaboration with tribal governments in homeland security programs that adequately reflect and build upon the sovereign status of tribal governments. This research reviews aspects of social trust required for collaboration, explores successful federal-tribal collaboration efforts, and suggests legislative and policy changes that may provide mechanisms necessary for effective federal-tribal collaboration in homela
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