In 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, directing the secretary of Homeland Security to install approximately 700 miles of double-layer fencing across the southern border (the border is 1,930 miles long). Five years later, even though only 36.3 miles of fencing had been built, President Obama declared that the border fence is “now basically complete.”
Now you claim that your comprehensive-immigration-reform bill will secure the border in return for amnesty for approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. Yet this time the bill doesn’t require any double layer fencing be built before 11 million illegal immigrants receive amnesty. In fact, the bill merely requires that the secretary of DHS submit a plan for securing the border.
Based on experience, why should Americans believe any actions will be taken by the federal government to secure the border? Isn’t the bill nothing more than a grant of amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants in return for a mere promise of enforcement from a department that has shown absolutely no intent of keeping such a promise? What evidence can you produce demonstrating that this time the federal government will keep its promise of border security?
The bill specifies that its border-security goal is to achieve “an effectiveness rate of 90 percent in all high risk border sectors along the southern border.” Yet during her testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano could not even provide a straight answer regarding the number of people coming across the border illegally. How can you possibly know when the 90 percent rate of effectiveness has been achieved when you don’t even know how many people are crossing the border? If you don’t know the denominator, how can you calculate the effectiveness rate? Doesn’t this render your border-security metrics a sham? If not, why not?