Friday, July 14, 2006

See Washington Lie...

Earlier this year, the US Senate, perhaps embarassed that the full impact of its disastrous Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) - otherwise known as the Hagel-Martinez Amnesty - had been exposed in the press, pretended to "move closer" to supporting border enforcement by approving a measure to construct fences along portions of the US-Mexico border. But the Senate never intended to actually see those fences built. It was simply a PR stunt, as demonstrated today when the Senate essentially nullified its earlier vote.

Less than two months after voting overwhelmingly to build 370 miles of new fencing along the border with Mexico, the Senate yesterday voted against providing funds to build it.

"We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of legislating," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican whose amendment to fund the fence was killed on a 71-29 vote. "The things we do often sound very good, but we never quite get there."

Mr. Sessions offered his amendment to authorize $1.8 billion to pay for the fencing that the Senate voted 83-16 to build along high-traffic areas of the border with Mexico. In the same vote on May 17, the Senate also directed 500 miles of vehicle barriers to be built along the border.

But the May vote simply authorized the fencing and vehicle barriers, which on Capitol Hill is a different matter from approving the federal expenditures needed to build it.

"If we never appropriate the money needed to construct these miles of fencing and vehicle barriers, those miles of fencing and vehicle barriers will never actually be constructed," Mr. Sessions told his colleagues yesterday before the vote.

Virtually all Democrats were joined by the chamber's lone independent and 28 Republicans in opposing Mr. Session's amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Only two Democrats -- Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Thomas R. Carper of Delaware -- supported funding the fence.

All told, 34 senators -- including most of the Republican leadership -- voted in May to build the fence but yesterday opposed funding it.

Of course, not, Mr. Sessions. But the Senate leadership never intended to actually build the fences in the first place. They simply hoped to generate a headline that would make them look good and advance the chances of their CIRA reaching a compromise with the House. Mr. Sessions committed a faux pas by exposing the reality behind the ruse.

The meaning of this is clear: the Senate has no intention of building fences, no intention of reducing illegal immigration at all. The Senate wants open borders and an amnesty for illegals living here. In short, the Senate continues to support the White House's position, while trying to deceive the public into believing that American immigration laws and US sovereignty will be enforced.


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