Skip to comments.President Bush Signs Secure Fence Act (TRANSCRIPT of Bush Remarks)
Posted on 10/26/2006 10:33:21 AM PDT by IntelliQuark
President Bush Signs Secure Fence Act The Roosevelt Room
9:34 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thanks. Please be seated. I'm pleased that you all are here to witness the signature of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.
I want to thank the members of Congress for their work on this important piece of legislation. I welcome you here to the White House. I'm looking forward to signing this bill.
I appreciate the Vice President joining us today. I thank the Deputy Secretary, Michael Jackson, of the Department of Homeland Security. Rob Portman -- he happens to be the Director of OMB. I want to thank Ralph Basham, who is the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. David Aguilar is the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.
I appreciate the fact that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has joined us, as well as House Majority Leader John Boehner. I appreciate them coming in from their respective states as I sign this piece of legislation. I want to thank Congressman Peter King, who's the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives. I appreciate you being here, Peter.
Ours is a nation of immigrants. We're also a nation of law. Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and, therefore, illegal immigration has been on the rise. We have a responsibility to address these challenges. We have a responsibility to enforce our laws. We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility seriously.
Earlier this year, I addressed the nation from the Oval Office. I laid out our strategy for immigration reform. Part of that strategy begins with securing the border. Since I took office we have more than doubled funding for border security -- from $4.6 billion in 2001 to $10.4 billion this year. We've increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 9,000 to more than 12,000, and by the end of 2008, we will have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents during my presidency.
We've deployed thousands of National Guard members to assist the Border Patrol. We've upgraded technology at our borders. We've added infrastructure, including new fencing and vehicle barriers. We're adding thousands of new beds in our detention facilities so we can continue working to end catch and release at our southern border. During the course of my administration we have apprehended and sent home more 6 million people entering our country illegally. And I thank the Border Patrol for their hard work.
The Secure Fence Act builds on this progress. The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border. The bill authorizes more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to help prevent people from entering our country illegally. The bill authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to increase the use of advanced technology, like cameras and satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce our infrastructure at the border. We're modernizing the southern border of the United States so we can assure the American people we're doing our job of securing the border. By making wise of use of physical barriers and deploying 21st century technology we're helping our Border Patrol agents do their job.
The Secure Fence Act is part of our efforts to reform our immigration system. We have more to do. Meaningful immigration reforms means that we must enforce our immigration laws in the United States. It is against the law to hire someone who is here illegally. We fully understand that most businesses want to obey that law, but they cannot verify the legal status of their employees because of widespread document fraud. So we're creating a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility, and in the meantime, holding people to account for breaking the law.
We must reduce pressure on our border by creating a temporary worker plan. Willing workers ought to be matched with willing employers to do jobs Americans are not doing for a temporary -- on a temporary basis.
We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship; that is amnesty. I oppose amnesty. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic pass to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation. And I look forward to working with Congress to find that middle ground.
The bill I'm about to sign is an important step in our nation's efforts to secure our border and reform our immigration system. I thank the members of Congress for joining me as I sign the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
(The bill is signed.)
END 9:40 A.M. EDT
"There is no way I can sit out the upcoming election now, withdraw from this fight, or cede any advantage to the Democrats who view illegal aliens as an endless source of fraudulent voters for their sordid, liberal philosophy and a means to obtain power over our lives."
Uhhhh Area 51 gets maybe a dozen moonbats a year trying to get in and does not share a border with a poor corrupt nation.
But nice try though ;^)
It was only partially funded some weeks back, but the money has since been allocated for other things. But, he's serious about border security. 'Virtually' that is! LMAO
Cornyn: 700 miles of border fence won't happen Senator says doesn't have funds.
Cornyn: 700 miles of border fence won't happen Senator says plan isn't practical, doesn't have the necessary funds.
By Eunice Moscoso WASHINGTON BUREAU Wednesday, October 04, 2006
WASHINGTON Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and key liaison to the White House on immigration, said Tuesday that 700 miles of fencing approved by Congress for the United States' southern border will probably not be built because of a lack of money and other practical considerations. "It's one thing to authorize. It's another thing to actually appropriate the money and do it," he said.
Cornyn predicted that some fencing would be built as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes more Border Patrol agents, more technology, more detention facilities and various physical barriers.
"There's different kinds of fencing. . . . There's the old fence post and barbed wire, and then there's the virtual fence, which is a combination of physical barriers, people and technology, and I think, in the end, that will probably be how this is addressed," he said.
Cornyn added that 700 miles of fencing would not solve the problem of illegal immigration because it would still leave about 1,300 miles of unfenced border.
"I'm not sure that's the most practical use of that money," he said.
In many border areas, the federal government would have to figure out how to compensate land owners for the property used for the fence, which raises a lot of practical questions, he said.
In addition, residents in the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso and South Texas are concerned that a fence could harm legal trade and commerce back and forth across the border, which is key to jobs and the economy in those areas, he said.
Cornyn defended the Senate vote for the fencing, saying it was a symbolic gesture to show that Congress is serious about protecting the border.
WASHINGTON - No sooner did Congress authorize construction of a 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexico border last week than lawmakers rushed to approve separate legislation that ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised, according to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.
GOP leaders have singled out the fence as one of the primary accomplishments of the recently completed session. Many lawmakers plan to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its construction as they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.
But shortly before recessing late Friday, the House and Senate gave the Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of projects -- not just the physical barrier along the southern border. The funds may also be spent on roads, technology and "tactical infrastructure" to support the Homeland Security Department's preferred option of a "virtual fence."
The loopholes leave the Bush administration with authority to decide where, when and how long a fence will be built, except for small stretches east of San Diego and in western Arizona. Homeland Security officials have proposed a fence half as long, lawmakers said.
This case reflects political calculations by GOP strategists that voters do not mind the details, and that key players -- including the administration, local leaders and the Mexican government - oppose a fence-only approach, analysts said.
It appears it is you who is 'FOS'. After all it was Reagan who gave us 'amnesty'. Do you think Reagan was 'FOS' too?
I don't get that attitude. See my tagline.
Applebutter you tried this on the other thread until you were ripped to shreads. You should change your screen name to "paddedhelmet".
Don't know why I never thought of that before, but point very well made.
"Exactly! And once the elections are over, Congress will revert to listening to their REAL constituents -- Big Business"
GOP House *already* litened to the base when they passed HR4437.
" -- and send Jorge Bush an amnesty/guest worker bill he will be much more happy to sign than this fence bill."
The Hastert House will send a more conservative bill,
the Pelosi House will send a liberal bill.
The sourpusses are just *soo-o-o-o-o-o* negative, it's like your begging to lose on this issue rather than compromise and get most of what you want.
"Oh, yeah, they'll stifle any funding for the 700 miles of fence already approved, too!"
Wrong! $1.2 billion was ALREADY appropriated in the recent Homeland Security dept appropriations.
You got it! This is just 'show' in hopes of helping the republicrats in the upcoming election.
This is wonderful rhetoric. I wish he meant it.
applebutter, which I would refer to as "paddedhelmet" just tried these same type postings on another thread. He or she is either a troll or just a malcontent, that has no desire for the GOP to maintain congress.
That's what everyone said PRIOR TO THE 2000 ELECTION! First it was 'get him elected so he can do this or that', then it was 'give him time to do this or that', then it became re-elect him so he can do this or that'. NO MORE!
"Nancy the Protector was not measuring the drapes without reason. The whole Foley prefabbed scandal was launched for purpose and I can't wait to find out WHO collected the internet communications and shopped them."
Actually we know already - it was a Soros-funded outfit staffed by Democrats called "CREW" that had the emails, for quite a few months prior.
Some leftwing gay 'outers' had the goods on Foley for a few years (he had been 'outed' a few years prior).
Cry us conservatives a river.
So is Speaker Pelosi going to solve all your problems?