Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The voting results are in

Thanks to your calls to your elected representatives on Capitol Hill, two nasty pieces of legislation H.R. 6094 and 6095 did not pass the Senate.

Unfortunately, the Secure Fence Act was approved late on Friday night. If signed into law by President Bush, the legislation calls for 700 miles of fence, thousands of new detention beds and Border Patrol guards. With no appropriated funding, it's questionable if the fence will be built anytime soon. Senator John Cornyn admitted this today. Reuters News Service reports that, even if the money is found, it may be difficult to build due to the physical terrain. The fence will also have limited usefulness. Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, told Reuters that the fence "may work to curtail crossings in the immediate area it has been built, but it won't stop illegal immigration. Experience has shown that traffic will shift to other parts of the border" where there is less vigilance.

Is it surprising that the fence is not a real solution? As we've seen over the past several months: the politics of immigration reform is primarily about posing for voters. But shouldn't voters be upset that after all the months of hoopla, the best Congress can come up with is a fence?

To see how your Representative and Senators voted on these bills, see the Rights Working Group's vote tally.


The National Council of La Raza wants you to call President Bush (202.456.1111) and ask him to not sign the Border Fence Bill. Click here for more information.

The Rights Working Group also is asking everyone to contact your lawmakers with a phone call or arrange a visit and thank them or explain to them the negative impact of their votes. To find your Representative's contact information, click here.

STAY TUNED: The provisions that didn't make it pass the Senate will likely reappear sometime soon in either the lame-duck session or early next year.