Skip to comments.If We Build It They Won't Come (by Duncan Hunter)
Posted on 05/22/2007 4:29:15 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007
Its much tougher than it should be to secure Americas borders. While the technology and manpower are all within reach, what seems beyond our grasp is the ability to act. Take last years legislation calling for construction of 854 miles of fence on our Southern border.
Its all too obvious that America is under threat because its land borders are largely porous and unprotected. In response last year Congress passed, and the President signed into law, legislation calling for the construction of those 854 miles of border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite this legislative mandate by the U.S. Congress, the Department of Homeland Security recently announced its intention to build only 370 miles of fencing along the border, not the 854 miles required by the legislation.
This directive, despite its clarity, appears to have been interpreted as a suggestion. It is not: its the law -- and the border fence must be built.
The Secure Fence Act requires that reinforced fencing and related infrastructure be installed along the most dangerous and problematic smuggling corridors along our Southern land border, which continue providing illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and potential terrorist access into the United States. As the original author of the measures fencing provision, I expected there to be some opposition to implementing strategic fencing along our land border with Mexico. I did not, however, expect one of the biggest obstacles to be the federal agency primarily responsible for protecting the American homeland, especially when border fencing has proven to be an effective enforcement tool with verifiable results.
In San Diego County, for example, border fencing remains a critical part of our continuing effort to address the problems commonly associated with illegal immigration. Since construction of the San Diego Border Fence began in 1996, the smuggling of people and narcotics has dropped drastically, crime rates have been reduced by half according to FBI statistics, vehicle drug drive-throughs have been eliminated and apprehensions have decreased as the result of fewer crossing attempts.
The Clinton Administration opposed the construction of the San Diego Border Fence as a method of closing the prolific smuggling corridor that once existed between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. The Clinton Administration, however, also recognized its responsibility under the law. Construction of the San Diego Border Fence began and conditions on both sides of the border immediately improved.
The Bush Administration says it remains committed to securing the border. I intend to hold them to their word. Just as I did with the Clinton Administration, I will continue reminding the Bush Administration of their obligation under the law to build the border fence. I believe they can, and will, do better.
Bureaucracy is rarely ever capable of producing immediate results. But when it threatens the safety and security of our communities, it becomes intolerable. The decision not to build fencing as dictated by law can only serve to demonstrate that we are not serious about securing our borders and enforcing our nations immigration laws.
Why is reinforced border infrastructure necessary? In 2005, 155,000 foreign nationals from countries other than Mexico were apprehended attempting to cross our land border with Mexico. Alarmingly, many of these individuals originated from countries of national security concern, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen, and likely represent only a fraction of those who successfully entered our country without the knowledge of border security officials or the consent of our government.
It has also been reported that several of the individuals who were discovered to be plotting the next major terrorist attack against the United States, targeting soldiers at Fort Dix, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border through Brownsville, Texas. Whether they entered as children or adults, the fact that they originated from countries far from our shores demonstrates that across the world, it is understood that the best way to illegally enter the United States is through our land border with Mexico.
To date, only 12 miles of the 854 miles of border fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act have been constructed. While its a start, the 370 miles of fencing promised by DHS represents a significant departure from whats required by federal law. Lets be perfectly clear: its not enough. Even the 854 miles of fence legislated last year is only a beginning. Legislation presently under consideration by the U.S. Senate to reform our immigration system also reaffirms DHS decision to only build 370 miles of fencing. This legislation is weak on enforcement, comprehensively fails to make border security a priority and wrongly retreats from the mandates of the Secure Fence Act.
We know from our experiences in San Diego that border fencing works and when extended across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, it will have the same salutary affect. DHS has more than $1 billion cash on hand for border fence construction and more will surely be delivered. Its time we get serious about border control, do whats right, and build the border fence. Secure borders make America safer. Whats so hard to understand about that?
BTTT for Hunter!
From a man who has understood for years what border security means.
Immigration ping. Bump for Hunter!
I genuinely wish that Duncan had a real chance of getting the nomination, I really do :(
I do think the country would be much the better for it.
Because moderates and DBM/dems only understand power, and could care less about, "doing what's right", 25 million illegals streaming in are all VOTES!
He and Tancredo shouls stay in the race just to keep the others honest on the issue of immigration. But we will see if Romney gains any traction by coming out for border security. Obviously this administration sees no problem with the flooding of the Southwest.
Raise your hand if you think even 70 miles will be built. I'm waiting... anyone?
That our so-called “leaders” in Washington cannot seem to fathom the threat that a third grader of my generation could, that they can watch as thousands of the most vicious people on earth (drug dealers, terrorists, etc) cross our borders with impunity and defiance, shows their collective arrogance and disregard towards those of us who entrusted them to safeguard our future.
It’s time to act, to replace them with men and women of honor.
Duncan Hunter is the best place to start.
Makes me wonder - could it be - is Jimmy carter right about the Bush aministration?....... Nah!
With the border security as the number one issue in the country, people will listen.
Wouldn’t your friends rather hear who you recommend, vs. who has the most expensive ads?
SO do I .....so do I....
“Secure borders make America safer. Whats so hard to understand about that?”
To the vast majority of us, not a thing, Sir. However, our CongressCritters are CLUELESS as well as too fat and sassy for America’s own good. *SPIT*
Time for Duncan to put Chertoff in the HOT SEAT!
“Raise your hand if you think even 70 miles will be built. I’m waiting... anyone?”
If We don’t keep the pressure on, no it won’t. TG We’ve got men like DH doing just that!
BTW; how’s your Hubby doing?
The have come here for the money. Make it so expensive via fines for anyone to employ illegals and they will go home when the money dries up.
Wonder how much that number has gone up since 2005? And, since those blabber-mouths (Kennedy/McCain) announced the amnesty proposal?
Hunter is the best. Go Hunter!
Great essay. I’m leaning more and more towards voting for Hunter in the primaries.
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