The American people just won an important battle for better border enforcement. I have been watching the live C-SPAN broadcast of the US Senate vote on the 700 mile 2 layer border fence bill (HR 6061 Secure Fence Act) that the US House of Representatives already passed with an overwhelming 283-138. Debbie Stabanow voted for it. Byron Dorgan (D ND) was among the Democrats who voted for it. Some other Ayes: Shelby, Graham, McCain, Baucus, Wyden, Murkowski, Nelson of Nebraska, Roberts, Elizabeth Dole, Lott, Hatch, Mary Landrieu (D LA), Rockefeller (D WV), Richard Lugar, Mary Hutchison, Tom Harkin, Santorum (R PA), Specter (R PA), Sam Brownback, Dianne Feinstein (D CA). Warner, Voinovich, Chuck Hagel, Byrd (D WV), Lincoln, Martinez, Barack Obama, Biden, Olympia Snowe, Hillary Clinton (D NY), Chuck Schumer (D NY), George Allen (R VA), Cole, Bill Frist, and Thad Cochran. Not surprisingly Lieberman voted no. Other nos: Kerry, Sarbannes, Chafee, Levin, Lautenberg, Akaka. I tuned in late and missed some names.
Lots of those 80 Ayes voted earlier this year for the massive amnesty and temporary worker program, the Senate bill CIRA S.2611. That bill passed the Senate by 62-36. Senator Jeff Sessions (R AL) revealed many of the flaws of that bill. House members heard such overwhelming demands from their constituents for tougher immigration and border policies that the House leadership refused to consider reconciling the House strong immigration law enforcement bill HR 4437 bill with the Senate amnesty. HR 6061 appears to be a subset of HR 4437 but a very valuable subset. We bypassed the vast bulk of the Open Borders Senate bill and got a strong enforcement bill instead.
Bush has indicated he will sign this border fence and immigration law enforcement bill. So it looks like we are going to get a border barrier for over a third of the 1951 mile US border with Mexico.
We still need another 1200 miles of barriers and more equipment for catching illegal crossers. We also need more interior enforcement of immigration laws. But we are headed in the right direction.
A note to my regular pessimistic commenters on immigration (and you know who you are): Our cause is far from lost. 80-19 is an amazing vote in the US Senate. Popular anger works. It just has to build really high before it breaks through the influence of the treasonous special interests.
Update: The Department of Homeland Security is getting more money for internal immigration law enforcement and to hold "Other Than Mexican" (OTM) illegal border crossers who usually are let go due to lack of facilities to hold them for deportation.
The $33.7-billion spending bill also significantly boosts funding for border security and enforcement of immigration laws at work sites and elsewhere.
The bill will enable the Department of Homeland Security to hire an additional 1,500 border patrol agents and buy 6,700 more beds at detention centers for illegal immigrants. In the past, the lack of enough beds at these facilities has caused authorities to release some of the illegal immigrants they apprehended.
The bill also provides $1.2 billion to pay for border fencing, vehicle barriers and improved sensor equipment at border crossings.
It is surprising to find out what is not yet illegal. The spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security criminalizes tunnels for illegal border crossings.
The broad spending bill also criminalizes the construction of tunnels that could be secret passageways from Mexico or Canada for drug smugglers, illegal aliens or terrorists.
The fence will be a reinforced physical barrier in some areas, while other areas will be secured solely by powerful lighting, sensors, and cameras. When completed, the border fence would include a 20-mile patch around Tecate, Calif., segments of the Mexico-California border, nearly all of Arizona's southern border, the area between Columbus, N.M ., and El Paso, and two other stretches of southern Texas.
The Israelis do something similar. They build high concrete walls along some border sections of the West Bank. The concrete walls prevent snipers from shooting into more populated areas.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 September 29 07:20 PM Immigration Border Barrier|