Thursday, August 03, 2006

Senate Reverses Course, Funds Border Fencing

The Senate apparently heard loud and clear from constituents angry about their refusal last month to fund the border fence which were part of its own immigration plan.

Yesterday 66 members of the Senate changed their votes and voted nearly $2 billion toward border fencing.

Part of the problem with last month's budget proposal was that the border fence money was going to be subtracted from other border security needs, such as border patrol agents and detention facilities. The funding voted on Wednesday comes from "emergency funds."

The new Senate vote seems to be a step in the right direction, but I'd like further assurance that this vote won't mean fewer patrol agents. In fact,
as reported in Arizona Daily Star, the Senate has voted for but not yet funded a number of other border security measures.

It's critical that those who believe in strong border security continue to keep the pressure on the Senate, as there are too many in the Senate who would be happy to revisit the 1986 amnesty plan, without accompanying changes at the borders. A "comprehensive immigration plan" can only be implemented if there is a truly comprehensive border security plan which amounts to more than talk and unfunded votes.


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