- Secure Fence Act of 2006
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (USPL|109|367) was enacted
October 26 2006[cite web| url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061026.html| title=President Bush Signs Secure Fence Act | publisher=The White House | accessdate=2006-08-27] in the United States. The act allows for over 700 miles of double-reinforced fence to be built across cities and deserts alike between Californiaand Texasin areas that have been prone to illegal drug trafficking and illegal immigration. It authorizes the installation of more lighting, vehicle barriers, and border checkpoints, while putting in place more advanced equipment like sensors, cameras, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles in an attempt to watch and control illegal immigrationinto the United States. Officials say that it will help cut down on the number of illegal vehicles that go back and forth across the border bringing illegal drugs. [cite web| url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061026-1.html| title=Fact Sheet on Secure Fence Act | publisher=The White House | accessdate=2007-09-20]
"This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform" - President George W. Bush
October 26 2006
The Fence Act passed 283-138 in the House on
September 14.cite web |title=Final Vote Results for Roll Call 446 |work=Clerk of the United States House of Representatives |url=http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll446.xml |date=2006-09-14 |accessdate=2008-04-03 ] In the House vote, 219 Republicans and 64 Democrats voted yes, while 6 Republicans, 131 Democrats, and 1 Independent voted no.
The Fence Act passed 80-19 in the Senate on
September 29.cite web |title=Roll Call Vote On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 6061) |work=United States Senate |date=2006-09-29 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |url=http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00262 ] In the Senate vote, 54 Republicans and 23 Democrats voted yes, while 1 Republican, 17 Democrats, and 1 Independent voted no.
October 26, President Bush signed the bill into law.cite web |title=H.R.6061 |work=Thomas |publisher=United States Library of Congress |date=2006-10-26 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |url=http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR06061:@@@R ]
Critics of the bill have said that because the border is 2,000 miles long while the fence is only 700, people will simply go around the fence. House Democrats have referred to the wall as the new "
Berlin Wall" and have said that it would only push illegal immigrants deeper into the inhospitable deserts as they search for a place to come across where there is no wall. [Citation
title =House passes border fence; Democrats call bill a 'gimmick'
newspaper =The Washington Times
date =September 15] The supporters said that it was an important step in trying to secure the nation's borders by controlling illegal immigration, drug trafficking, violence, and kidnapping.
After the bill was passed, Senate Republicans suggested that there wouldn't be any money appropriated to the bill so House Armed Services Chairman
Duncan Hunterwrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoffinforming them that the bill didn't suggest that the fence be built, it ordered it to be built. To ensure that the fence would be built, Hunter referenced the language in the Homeland Security law that would withhold $950 million if they didn't go along with the plan within 60 days. Soon afterwards, President Bush signed the bill into law. [Citation
title =Border Fence Becomes Law
newspaper =Human Events
date =October 27]
Congress approved a homeland security spending bill that was separate from the Secure Fence Act that would allocate $1.2 billion dollars to put the plan into action, although some people believe that some where near $5 billion is what is actually needed to put the plan into action. An additional $3 billion was included on October 3rd in the Defense Appropriations Bill. But by November 13 when it was signed into law, these funds had been removed. They were cut from the bill in House-Senate committee. [cite web
title =New law cuts $3B for border security
publisher=Federal Computer Week]
Eventually funds might be allocated towards completion of the project. [cite web| url=http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/house/2/votes/446/| title=Vote Analysis | publisher=Washington Post | accessdate=2007-09-21]
On October 26 2006
CNNposted the results from a survey by Opinion Research Corp. to 1,013 Americans regarding border control. 74 percent of those polled said that they are in favor of increasing the number of Border Patrol agents along the southern border but 55 percent opposed construction of a fence. [cite web| url=http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/10/24/immigration.poll/index.html?eref=rss_us| title=Americans on Border Control | publisher=CNN | accessdate=2007-11-13]
On August 18, 2007, Rasmussen Reports published the results of a nationwide survey of 800 Americans on illegal immigration and reported that by a 56% to 31% margin, respondents were in favor of constructing the fence. [cite web| url=http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/71_favor_requiring_foreign_visitors_to_carry_universal_id_card| title=71% Favor Requiring Foreign Visitors to Carry Universal ID Card| publisher=Rasmussen Reports | accessdate=2008-02-05]
Mayors from some border towns on either side of the border have expressed opposition to construction of the fence. [cite news |first=Graciela |last=Salazar |title=Mayors say border wall is not the answer |format=PDF |work=The Collegian |publisher=The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College |date=2007-04-30 |url=http://blue.utb.edu/collegian/PDFs/pdf043007.pdf ]
United States–Mexico barrier
* [http://www.borderstories.org Border Stories- a website devoted to stories from both sides of the U.S. Mexico Border]
* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR06061:@@@L&summ2=m&|TOM:/bss/d109query.html| HR 6061, Secure Fence Act of 2006] via
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