A number of polls show that the majority of Americans want the federal government to take more measures to secure our southern border with Mexico to prevent illegal crossings. Many of the same polls also reveal that the majority of Americans are against Obama’s delayed deportation of illegals and giving them millions of dollars’ worth of benefits.
Knowing how the public feels about illegal immigration, the House Homeland Security Committee just passed a $10 billion Secure the Borders First Act. After some intense debate on the bill, the committee vote was 18-12 along party lines. Now the bill will go to the floor of the House, but its passage is questionable along with what the bill actually accomplishes.
The bill does provide for the construction of more double-layer fencing to be built along the border but only for 27 miles. It also calls for the destruction of at least 66 miles of border fencing that has been described as weak and blocking Mexican laborers from American employers.
An unidentified staffer from Capitol Hill told The Daily Caller:
“It is a remarkable that the direction of our progress is going backwards, from a goal of building 700 miles of double-layer border fencing [in 2006] to only 27 miles [in 2015].”
“Where the double-layer fence has been put in, it has worked spectacularly. The public is with us 80 to 90 percent on this issue.”
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) who also serves as Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. McCaul is defending his bill saying that building more fencing would be a waste of taxpayer money. He tried to explain:
“The bill matches resources to needs, putting 27 more miles of fencing where fencing is needed, and technology where technology is needed.”
“In our conversations with outside groups, experts and stakeholders, we learned that it would be an inefficient use of taxpayer money to complete the fence. … We are using that money to utilize other technology to create a secure border.”
The bill does mandate that Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, gain operational control of the higher traffic sections of the border within two years and the entire border within five years. By operation control they mean ‘the ability to detect, respond and interdict illegal activity at the border or after entry into the United States.’ Supposedly that would be accomplished through manpower and technology instead of fencing.
A similar bill was introduced into the Senate by Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, John Cornyn of Texas and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
Both versions of the bill are already drawing concern amongst fellow Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) commented:
“If Congress learned anything from last year’s ongoing border disaster, it should be that border security cannot be achieved unless immigration agents are permitted to do their jobs and our laws are actually being enforced. A nation cannot control its borders if being caught violating those borders does not result in one’s swift return home.”
Democrats are already accusing Republicans of partisan politics and not willing to work with Democrats on a mutually agreeable plan. It’s ironic that when the Democrats had control of the Senate, that they did exactly what they are accusing Republicans of doing. How many times did former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to allow GOP sponsored House bills from even being looked at by the Senate?
My question about this bill is what do they mean by using manpower and technology to secure the border? I could not find any specifics that detailed how that was to be accomplished.
For the past several years I’ve been proposing a plan to bring US troops home from the Middle East and station them along the US/Mexican border. Provide them with all of the technology and equipment necessary to be able to detect any border crossing attempts along the entire 1,954 miles. Instead of putting their lives on the line to protect the borders of nations that only want to destroy the US, let’s use our military to protect our own borders like many other nations do.
Not only would this stop the flood if illegal aliens, but it would also have a huge impact on the illegal drug trafficking that is rampant across the border. With our troops protecting the border, the southwestern parts of the US would once again become a safer place to live.
Hopefully that’s what most of the $10 billion would be spent for, but somehow I doubt it.