Republican Senators Stand in Way of Border Fence

Disappointing news from the Senate Judiciary Committee today: Republicans on the panel agreed to build only 50 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border, significantly less than the 700 miles of fencing approved in December by the House of Representatives.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), whose state will get much of the fencing, Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) said: “I know there are going to be proposals for a wall or border fencing along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. I do not support either of those for practical and fiscal reasons, as well as because of the symbol that it sends to our neighbors to the north and south.”

Kyl released a statement boasting of the “over 200 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers along Arizona’s border with Mexico” approved by the committee. However, according to Bloomberg News, only 50 miles will be actual fencing. Apparently, vehicles will somehow thwart the invasion of illegal alliens on the 150 other miles.

But don’t count out of the fence just yet in the Senate. One member of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.), told Bloomberg that he would go a different route to get language for a 700-mile fence included in the Senate bill.

Republican Jeff Sessions said he will wait until then to introduce an amendment to build fencing along the Mexican border, similar to legislation approved by the House. Fifteen-foot-tall fencing has been built along the border in some places near large cities, such as San Diego. Large parts of the border are separated by little more than barbed-wire fences less than five feet high.

“The American people have a right to be dubious of what we’ve done here,” Sessions said. “We’ll have to talk about it on the floor, for sure.”

If Sessions’ plan doesn’t work—and I’m not very optimistic that it will—House negotiators will have to bully the Senate in a conference committee, which won’t be easy. The showdown will challenge even the most conservative Republicans.

Who is likely to stand firm? Check out the HUMAN EVENTS’ Top 10 Immigration Hawks in Congress. They need your support and encouragement.

Why is a fence along the border a good idea? Check out Colin Hanna’s, which offers some shocking details about the threats posed by our neighbor to the South.

UPDATE — March 10: My apologies to Sen. Jon Kyl, to whom I attributed the above quote criticizing a border fence. According to Kyl’s press secretary, the quote was actually uttered by Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.).

The link to the Bloomberg News story, which contained the quote, has been removed from its website. I’m investigating what happened and will report back shortly.