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Secure Fence Act: a hoax and a scam? (Kay Bailey Hutchison, DHS)

I haven't been following the issues with the border fence*, and this article was written almost a month ago so I don't know if things have changed since then, however:
...In the fall of 2006 when Congress passed and the President signed into law the Secure Fence Act, most Americans thought they understood what they were getting. The plain text of the law states that "the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for [at] least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors" along a specified range of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Act then stipulated the precise regions of the border, covering a total of 854 miles...

But the very same day that the Senate passed the Secure Fence Act, Senate leaders had already hatched a plan to, in essence, un-do the Act. More precisely stated, Congress passed another law giving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)discretion over how and where the fence would actually be built. That night, after the Secure Fence Act was passed, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison rose to the floor of the Senate and expressed her concern that the Act was too restrictive and would impose too much of a burden on Texas' border communities. Hutchison then submitted into the record two letters written earlier that day. The first was a letter she had received from Majority Leader Bill Frist earlier in the day addressing Sen. Hutchison's concerns; the second, Frist's letter to House and Senate leaders issuing specific legislative directives related to Hutchison's concerns...
The directives gave DHS a large amount of "flexibility", which they've used to apparently only build a small part of the fence. The article goes on to give evidence that DHS doesn't want to build the fence, and Hutchison makes another appearance to give DHS yet another instance of "flexibility".

* My belief is that a fence covering much of the border is part "boob bait for Bubba" and to a lesser extent a boondoggle. Fencing serves a purpose in many areas, but it isn't really necessary in many others. Unfortunately, too many people concentrate on things like this rather than the more important "hearts and minds" issues. If we can get to the point where politicians, reporters, religious leaders, and others realize that supporting illegal immigration in one way or another would greatly damage their careers, the situation will solve itself. And, we get to that point by publicly discrediting those who support or enable illegal immigration by revealing their lies and inability to think things through. See, for instance, John McCain's poll numbers.

UPDATE: On a related note, Senator Joe Lieberman wants DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to tell him why he wanted an environmental study on fencing in Texas, but waived environmental laws in Arizona: "While developing additional layers of border security is a priority for our nation, it should not impede our ability to also continue to be good environmental stewards".

Immigration2007b · Mon, 12/10/2007 - 21:22 · Importance: 1

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 18:49

Surprise! Virtual enforcement from a virtual government. Chertoff can't find 20 million illegal aliens hanging out on the street corners, nor can he find a SINGLE one of their criminal employers. Not one prosecution. Can't even locate the ones who brag about their crimes on the evening news. Can't build a fence, but likes frisking senior citizens at airports. You know, the airport where YOU have to have ID, but the employees just pick their ID for the day out of a hat? What a goof Chertoff is. As far as the environment goes, just give Al Gore some 'green' in exchange for a few of his company's faux carbon credits. For the right price, he will bless the fence as environmentally sound into perpetuity. And as far as the landowners? Kelo vs. New London ring a bell? If its good enough to steal private property for a shopping mall or a condominium, it might work for national security, too. Don't wait, don't talk, don't stall. BUILD THE WALL. And let Blackwater, not Boeing, monitor the traffic.

Wed, 12/12/2007 - 17:03

Senator Hutchison is sounding more like President Bush. Note how she is supporting the federal bailout of the lenders & borrowers involved in the subprime mess. Another bad government intervention to reward bad behavior. Who do these people think they are representing actually?

Wed, 12/12/2007 - 20:33
Fred Dawes

Well Yes the system is a total hoax. by the way i saw a story that Mexican are building the so called Fence, is that a joke or what?

Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:54

I live in the southwest. I fear for the security of our borders. I’m also appreciative of the Mexican people and fear for their safety and security. I don’t want to spend $XXXM to build a Tortilla Curtain with a Port of Entry called “Checkpoint Carlos.” Do you think this would work? Create a means to match Mexican workers to American jobs BEFORE they cross the border. Mexicans need safe and fair jobs. America needs their labor and skill, and control and accounting of visitors. Partner with the Mexican government to provide a path for “approved” (NOT “documented”) workers to enter the U.S., earn a fair wage under safe and humane conditions, while affording “traceability” and a degree of control to the U.S. government, at the same time supply American employers with needed labor. Before I begin, I have to ask what would propel the Mexican government to cooperate with any immigration initiative. Things for are “bueno” for them (at least those in power) now. Here’s my suggestion: 1. Work with Mexico to develop a process for workers to apply (in Mexico) for U.S. jobs. 1.1. Collect background, educational, and language-, skill-set information. 1.2. Conduct background checks on all "applicants". In conjunction with U.S. agencies, reject/accept applicants. 1.2.1. Pregnant women should not be accepted. 1.3. Together with U.S. agencies, build a database of applicants skills, location and availability. 2. Create a mechanism here in the U.S. to find employers in need of "approved" workers. 2.1. Build a database of employers, skills needed, pay scale, benefits (if any), location, and term and duration of job availabilities. 3. While in the U.S. the Mexican government would be financially responsibility for— 3.1. Any damages caused by their citizens. 3.2. Costs of incarceration, should it be necessary. 3.3. Costs of transportation back to Mexico, should it be necessary. 3.4. Costs of any required medical care required for injuries or conditions not work related. 4. While in the U.S. workers would be responsible for— 4.1. Reliably working, as agreed. 4.2. Learning English. 4.3. Paying taxes. 4.4. Obeying our laws. 4.5. Costs of transportation, food and housing with those costs guaranteed or subsidized by the Mexican government. 4.6. Returning to Mexico when employment is terminated or work is no longer available. 5. American employers responsibilities would be to— 5.1. Pay fair wages. 5.2. Ensure safe working conditions. 5.3. Provide Workers Insurance covering work-related injuries. 6. Those workers found to be in the U.S. without “approval” or proper documentation would be subject to 6 months in jail, then deportation, both at the expense of Mexico. 7. Issue Approved Worker identification numbers and cards which can be immediately verified by law enforcement through an on-line database. 8. Issue special driver’s licenses to “approved” workers which would require auto insurance and be revocable upon e

Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:55

PART 2: 9. Dramatically empower law enforcement’s (municipal, county and state) authority to check the “approved worker” status of all employees at the places of business. Arrest and try employers found in violation of this new worker initiative. Severe fines and imprisonment suggested. 10. Amend the 14th Amendment to the Constitution wherein children born of illegal or “un-approved” parents in the U.S. are not automatically U.S. citizens and are subject to immediate deportation. The result of this is that jobs for un-approved workers will vanish. Employers will simply not chance the severe punishment for hiring “un-approved” workers and, maybe, workers would not be willing to chance entering a country where they risk time in jail for a job they can’t get. Somewhere in here an incentive is needed for Mexican government cooperation. I don’t think they give a damn about their citizens but they do care about American dollars. I’ve toyed with the notion of deducting “Mexican taxes” and sending it to the Mexican IRS equivalent. Dinero! Cooperation muy pronto! I don’t know… YOUR COMMENTS, PLEASE. If we could make something like this actually work, I believe we could even witness a reverse migration! JustMHO