In a session with reporters this morning Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was noncommital how the House would react if the Senate passed a lenient, guest worker bill, but stressed the importance of a fence to block illegal aliens from entering the U.S.
"Our bottom line is to protect this country, to protect this country against terrorists, make sure we don’t have another 9/11 situation in this country that ever happens again and that we can also start to legally prosecute these people, these coyotes, the smuggling gangs, that you have that last year alone created 400 deaths on the border. That’s wrong.. We need to get at that, we need to strengthen our borders and we’ll work with the Senate and see how to move forward...I’ve been working on this issue for a long, long time because I did the anti-drug issue before I became Speaker, there are places along the border where we need to build fences. We need to be able to direct people through checkpoints so we can see who is coming into the country and what they are carrying in their purses or on their backs or in their suitcases or in their automobiles and that’s the illegal drug issue. We have not been able to stop that. 77% of the illegal drugs in this country come across the Southwest border. We need to tighten that border up. Whether we do it with fences, or berms or overlooking military devices, evidently we couldn’t do it with only personnel so we need to look at alternatives."