Monday, October 02, 2006

H.R. 6061, Secure Fence Act of 2006

In December 2005 the House of Representatives passed a bill which addressed our illegal immigration issues and called for securing our borders first. The Senate's immigration bill in May this year did not make securing the borders a priority. The Senate and the House were therefore at an impasse. House Republicans are eager to have the will of the people be known and spent much of the summer conducting field hearings among constituents to determine what type of immigration legislation the American public would like to see enacted. Overwhelming support for a border security bill which would aid in preventing illegal immigration was the recommendation given at these hearings. Therefore, in response to these findings, Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives, authored this bill which places border security as our first priority.

Provisions of the bill include the following:

(1) Authorize the construction of 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border
(2) Increase use of technology at the border, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, sensors, satellites, radar, and cameras;
(3) Enhance border infrastructure, including checkpoints, roads, and vehicle barriers; and
(4) Study the necessity and feasibility of building a fence along the Northern border.

The bill passed 283-138. It is worth noting that 131 Democrats voted against the bill.

The Senate voted on and passed this bill on Friday, September 29th with a vote of 80-19. The President has indicated that he will sign it into law.