Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sessions Senate Amendment Passes: Fences!

A glimmer of hope on the border security front today, with the passage of the Sessions amendment in the Senate mandating 370 miles of fencing along the Southern border. It's not all we need to secure the borders, but it's a solid start.

The amendment passed 83-16, which Power Line (linked above) suggests means "Even most Democrats have figured out how serious Americans are on the issue of border security."

Hugh Hewitt says: "Given that the House bill mandates 700 miles of fencing and the Senate bill 370 miles of fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers, the final bill that emerges from conference will mandate an enormous improvement in border security."

Ed Morrissey has more, including a discussion of amnesty and Tony Blankley's column on compromise. Ed opines: "If trading in the de facto guest worker program we have now for a regulated guest worker program gets us the robust border security we need, then we should take that deal."

I'm still watching Washington with a wary eye, and am deeply concerned about the many issues raised by amnesty and guest worker programs, but I'm willing to concede it's possible we just might be better off on the border front tonight than we were a couple days ago; if so, it seems that part of the credit must go to President Bush for moving the debate forward. We'll see now what transpires in future.

The Southern border has received a great deal of attention because of the multiple issues facing us on that front -- security concerns combined with the sheer number of people coming across, as well as problems such as drugs being "imported" from Mexico -- but in due course I believe we must also turn our attention to the Northern border and secure it on an equal basis. We should not forget that the so-called Millennium bomber who intended to blow up LAX attempted to enter the country via Canada, and there are probably hundreds of miles unattended on our Northern border. If we close off the South, it's all the more likely a terrorist will then turn to the North -- or our ports.

The battle for national security has a long way yet to go; let's hope this is a positive start in the right direction.


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