No Fence, No Deal
Details of the “deal” between from the Senate “Gang of 8” working on the immigration bills are emerging and they are very troubling. The two issue that divide most conservatives are eligibility for citizenship for regularized immigrants who do not return to their countries for standard entry and the border fence –not “virtual border security,” but actual, honest-to-God border fences.
On the first matter some conservatives want “never” as an answer to the question when will regularized aliens be eligible for voting and others say after a significantly long period that includes assimilation –say 20 years. The latter could be brought around to the former and the former to the latter.
But as someone who has been debating this issue since 1994 –when I campaigned up and down California against Proposition 187– a real deal fence is a requirement for me, a real two-layered fence with a map of exactly where it will be built and a construction schedule and authorizing law that blows past the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Act and which funds full and fair condemnation of private land taken to build the layered fence.
Above you see two pictures of real deal stretches of fencing, and a schematic of the Israeli fencing program. I have seen both and I have also seen the nonsense fencing that exists along hundreds of miles of our border –vehicle barriers etc. Without the former in the bill I will urge all of my callers to begin now and never stop opposing the Gang of 8’s deal. I suspect the House will not pass anything when the calls start coming from outraged conservatives who believe the border security deal is a sham because it doesn’t include real fencing. And I cannot believe that anyone who has lived near or on the border doesn’t know the difference and doesn’t suspect the Gang of 8’s “deal” of being a sham if it lacks language as direct as this:
Sec. ___ Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Homeland Security shall cause to be built 1,100 miles of fencing which shall consist of at least two series of fences at a height of at least 10 feet with an access road between them. The location of this fencing shall be as designated in the map attached as Section ____. Of the total of such fencing that shall be not less than 1,100 miles in length, ___ miles has already been built and is designated in Section ____ as compliant with this provision. A construction schedule for the remaining ____ miles of fencing is found at Section ____. No other provision of this law shall enter into effect until mile 900 of the fence is certified to the Congress as completed, and no visa issued pursuant to this law shall be vested as permanent until mile 1,100 of the fencing is certified as completed. There is authorized $______________ for the purpose of construction and maintenance of this fencing which shall not be spent on any fencing, vehicle barriers or other forms of “virtual fencing,” the authorization for which is found at Section ____. The expenditures from this fund and detailed reports on the construction of the fencing provided for in this section shall be posted on a website maintained by DHS and updated weekly in detail sufficient for the public to quickly grasp and understand the construction of the fence and the expenditures of funds related to that construction.