Saturday, January 05, 2019

Secure Fence Act of 2006

Recently I have heard the Secure Fence Act of 2006 cited as evidence that Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others were for the concept of border security – and that Democrats have now changed their tune. While called a “fence” rather than a “wall,” 2006 “fence” and 2019 “wall” both share in common being “physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States...”[i]

Right, wrong, or indifferent, altogether it looks like 80 “yeas” in the Senate (Democrat & Republican) voted to fund roughly 700 miles of border security fencing.[ii] On October 26, 2006, then President George W. Bush signed into law this Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–367). Seems this does call for an explanation from those who supported “physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens” and oppose such a concept now. Is it pure “Trump-hatred,” political posturing, or some more reasoned resistance?

“A bill to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States.” – Text of Senate bill[iii]

[i] The act provided for “at least two layers of reinforced fencing” but was amended a year later from a “one-size-fits-all” act to give discretion of details of erecting the fence to the Secretary of Homeland Security for the appropriate use of resources (for example, whether one-layer, two-layer, pedestrian fencing, vehicle barriers, walls, etc.).
[ii] With almost 2000 miles of US/Mexico shared border, the bill funded “physical infrastructure enhancements” for about one-third of the border.
[iii] The House of Representatives also passed such a bill, in their case 283 for and 138 against. See H.R. 6061 - Secure Fence Act of 2006 and Final House Vote on Secure Fence Act of 2006.

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