TheSecure Fence Act was introduced on Sept. 13, 2006, by Rep Peter King (R-NY) and passed Congress on a bi-partisan basis. In the House of Representatives, the Fence Act passed 283 -138 on September 14, 2006. On September 29, 2006, the Fence Act passed in the Senate 80 -19.
Out of the eighty senators in total who voted in favor of the secure fence act, twenty-six (out of the forty-four) Democrats voted in favor of the bill (one, Ted Kennedy did not vote). A dozen years later some of those Democratic Senators are still serving in the upper body (Sherrod Brown was in the house, but is now in the Senate) they include;
- Sherrod Brown (OH)
- Thomas Carper (DE)
- Diane Feinstein (CA)
- Bill Nelson (FL)
- Chuck Schumer (NY)
- Debbie Stabenow (MI)
- Ron Wyden (OR)
Other notable Democrats who supported the bill in the Senate were Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Harry Reid, and Senator Barack Obama.
Of course, that was then, the Democratic Party strategy today is to oppose everything President Trump opposes.
But why wasn’t the fence built before Trump became President? It was supposed to be done by now.
The secure fence act law stated in part:
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions theSecretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States, to include the following–
(1) systematic surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the United States through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras; and (2) physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States and facilitate access to the international land and maritime borders by United States Customs and Border Protection, such as additional checkpoints, all-weather access roads, and vehicle barriers. (b) Operational Control Defined.–In this section, the term “operational control” means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.
The primary goal of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was to help secure America’s borders to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking, and security threats by building 700 miles (1,100 km) of physical barriers along the Mexico-United States border. Later in the text of the bill, it specifies what was supposed to be built: a double-layered fence with barbed-wire on top and room for a security vehicle to patrol between the layers. Not bad right?