Thursday, November 8, 2007

$3 Billion No More: Earlier this year, the Senate vote 95-1 to include $3 billion for increased border security in a defense bill. In the closed-door negotiations, the $3 billion has now been removed from the final version of this bill. Some senators had a press conference about this removal of defense funding:
“It is outrageous that the leadership yanked this critical funding from the final bill,” said Dole. “The Senate spoke loud and clear on this issue, and now a select few have decided to ignore the number one lesson learned from the Senate’s failed immigration bill – that Americans simply don’t have confidence that their government is serious about securing our borders and enforcing our laws.”

The $3 billion would fund border security and enforcement measures, including 700 miles of border fencing, 45,000 detention beds, and training and tools for local law enforcement to handle criminal illegal aliens. As a result of Dole’s leadership, North Carolina is the first state in the nation to have a statewide partnership and plan for sheriffs to coordinate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This plan, which is in its early implementation stages, will ensure that North Carolina sheriffs can readily access the tools that they need to identify, apprehend and remove undocumented aliens who have self-identified themselves by committing crimes.

Dole took part in a press conference today with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Jim Demint (R-S.C.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
There's some more information here. Sen. Graham says he's thinking of ways to try to add the $3 billion back to the bill. One wonders who was behind this removal....