2006 September 20 Wednesday
Bush Will Sign Border Fence Bill If Senate Passes It

Recently House Republicans revived the an enforcement-only approach to immigration with about a third of the House Democrats joining them to support 700 miles of border barrier on the US-Mexico border. This has put anti-borders pro-cheap immigrant labor Senators in a difficult spot. The US Senate has taken up the House proposal and may just pass it before the November 2006 elections.

The Senate continues debate today on a bill to construct 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. The House passed the bill last week. Today in the House, lawmakers will consider three measures to increase penalties on illegal immigrants and speed deportations.

Some Republicans expressed concern that passing the border enforcement bills now will slow momentum for broader immigration legislation, which the Senate passed in May. The House passed a bill emphasizing border security in December. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who favors expanding opportunities for foreign agricultural workers, said crops are rotting in the field "because we in Congress haven't gotten our act together."

The phrase "broader immigration legislation" is code for an immigration amnesty and relaxation of enforcement that would gut any efforts to stop the Hispanic immigrant deluge. The crops are not going to rot in the field. If we do not have enough food the prices will rise slightly and that will increase supply. But of course the supermarkets are very well stocked and food prices haven't soared. Senator Craig is lying.

Faced with the need to satisfy voters the Democrats (and not a few cheap labor Republicans) are having a hard time finding a way to vote the way they want to vote.

For Democrats, the legislation presents a political dilemma. They must either support legislation that many consider inadequate or cast a vote that could be portrayed during fall campaigns as anti-border security. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the deputy Democratic leader, said his party members haven't decided how they will vote on the border fence bill. "We'll wait and see how this unfolds."

Senate Democrats may fail to block it.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Democrats would try to force another vote on the broader Senate bill, which passed 62-36 in May, though he said Democrats expect Frist to use parliamentary tactics to block the move.

The narrower bill sets a May 2008 deadline for building the first 361 miles (581 kilometers) of fencing — along the border between California, and Arizona — and also requires 30 miles (50 kilometers) of fencing along the Laredo, Texas, border crossing.

This bill will cover over a third of the border. That'll free up Border Patrol officers to concentrate on the remaining areas. We need to keep pressure on Congress to extend the barrier along the entire US-Mexico border.

Republican politicians who want immigration amnesty and a guest worker program feel pressured by constituents into supporting more border barriers. George W. Bush says he'll sign a fence-only bill if Congress passes it.

Bush, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, said he would sign a fencebuilding bill as part of efforts to strengthen the border. But he added, “I would view this as an interim step. I don't view this as the final product. And I will keep urging people to have a comprehensive reform.”

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said, “While I've made it clear that I prefer a comprehensive solution, I have always said we need an enforcement-first approach to immigration reform.”

The immigration restrictionist cause is gaining ground. Washington DC politicians are being forced to do what they do not want to do. Popular anger is being felt inside the beltway. Radio talk shows, blogs, other web sites, the Minutemen, and a few restrictionist TV commentatorys such as Lou Dobbs on CNN have together helped push the immigration debate far from where the elites want it to go. We are winning.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 September 20 10:17 PM  Immigration Border Barrier

John S Bolton said at September 21, 2006 3:08 AM:

The US capitol has been getting 100s of thousands of faxes plus other messages for immigration law enforcement. It's ten or more to one against amnesties and slack enforcement.
The constituency for illegals is so tiny on the elite end, and so low-literate on the bottom end, that politicians are getting the message.
Who would have thought, 15 years ago that the government could be prodded into controlling the crime wave that peaked in the early 90's?
You'd have to put millions into prison and keep them there, and only nazis, racists, rednecks, etc would do that, was what was suggested;
but now we do have millions in prison, and only the wildlings of the far left say that America is a
a nazi-racist-redneck confederacy.
None of them say it is now, but wasn't so before; or if they do, they're lying about what they believed earlier.
Certain issues get treated as a special province of political elites, which the people are considered quite presumptuous to intrude upon, as if they had a say.
Immigration, foreign affairs, and affirmative action are the most conspicuous of these.

Robert said at September 21, 2006 10:53 AM:

Terrorists tried to pass thru the borders into the US from Canada.
Is that where this fence will go?

Why not?

h-man said at September 22, 2006 7:01 AM:


Even with presently existing laws, illegal immigration need not have reached the levels we have now. What has been
lacking is a "good faith" effort to enforce the law by Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2. If there is no change of attitude
by the executive branch, I doubt these new laws (and fences) will have much of an effect.

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