Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Congressional Silliness

After two years of doing little besides caving into the White House, Congress finished the run-up to the November elections by denying the President one of the things he wanted: a comprehensive immigration bill. Instead, the Senate decided that the Great Wall Against Brown People's Incursions was enough. From the Washington Post:

The Senate gave final approval last night to legislation authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, shelving President Bush's vision of a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in favor of a vast barrier.

The measure was pushed hard by House Republican leaders, who badly wanted to pass a piece of legislation that would make good on their promises to get tough on illegal immigrants, despite warnings from critics that a multibillion-dollar fence would do little to address the underlying economic, social and law enforcement problems, or to prevent others from slipping across the border. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) surprised many advocates of a more comprehensive approach to immigration problems when he took up the House bill last week.
[Emphasis added]

While Congress was willing to build the Great Wall, it wasn't quite ready to fund it.

...Congress approved $1.2 billion in a separate homeland security spending bill to bankroll the fence.

That figure, however, is only a down payment and falls far short of the $6 billion the fence is expected to cost.
[Emphasis added]

But Congress wanted to secure the border, which this Great Wall will do...sorta kinda.

Lawmakers from both parties conceded that even at 700 miles in length, the barrier would leave nearly 1,300 miles of border uncovered.

...Advocates and opponents of the measure said it is not clear that the fence can be built as the bill envisions. The Arizona branch would have to plunge down steep ravines and scale craggy mountain peaks. "This is not Iowa farmland," said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). Construction is "going to be near impossible."

A vast stretch of the Arizona fence would traverse the lands of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which strongly opposes it and could bring suit, said Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.). Construction crews would have to deal with rivers and streams running north to south and wildlife migration routes that do not respect the U.S.-Mexico divide. And the Border Patrol does not have enough agents to stop smugglers from simply knocking holes in remote stretches.

But, hey! It's going to be one dandy Mother of a Wall!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the fence plan include wildlife transits? There's no way it can be built without, imho.

By then, if this nation is to have a chance of saving its republic, we will have Dem controlled Congress and WH. The environmental lobbies will have their chance, I hope....

But with more than 25% (27.28%, to be exact to two decimal places) of the current Senate Dems voting for torture, who knows what the hell they'll do as a majority.

Great info.

7:07 AM  

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