Once again, President Bush has sold conservatives down the river with respect a linchpin issue. And once again Duncan Hunter proves he is a true conservative willing to stand up to the GOP and represent his values and his constituency. The message is quite clear. We cannot be a sovereign nation without effective border and immigration policy. Mr. Bush seems too concerned with garnering favor for the GOP among Latinos than with executing the duties of his office. Kudos to Rep. Hunter for helping keep the discussion on point.
Bush, GOP senators trim border fence goal – Nation/Politics – The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper
Six months after approving a bill promising to build some 850 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Bush administration and Senate Republicans are now saying 370 miles is enough.
In his negotiations with Republican senators, Mr. Bush also appears to have rejected the key compromise in the Senate bill passed last year: allowing only longtime illegal aliens with “roots” to have a path to citizenship. He instead favors a more circuitous path that is open to almost all illegal aliens.
Mr. Bush has embraced higher financial penalties for illegal aliens who want to remain in the United States, and for the first time has accepted specific “triggers,” including stepped-up enforcement, that must be met before legalization and guest-worker plans go into effect, according to a PowerPoint presentation that administration officials and advisers say represents the state of discussions between Mr. Bush and Senate Republicans.
The presentation, first obtained and released by U.S. News & World Report, calls for 370 miles of fencing, 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 300 miles of electronic monitoring on the border. By that trigger, the guest-worker and legalization programs could begin with less than 900 miles of the 1,950-mile U.S.-Mexico border being monitored or blocked.
“Traditional fencing is an important part of the overall border security strategy,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. He said fencing is most effective in metropolitan areas and that sensors, ground-based radar and unmanned aerial vehicles are adequate in remote locations. Mr. Bush’s proposed budget called for $1 billion to be invested in infrastructure and technology on the border next year, he said.
Some Republicans are annoyed that Mr. Bush appears ready to ignore mandates of the Secure Fence Act.
“I drafted that bill. It says ‘shall.’ That’s the same language we put in the border fence in San Diego,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican. “Doggone it, this is the law. Follow the law.” Full story
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