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House Republicans Unveil “Border Security Now” Agenda

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 06091566 (posted Sep. 15, 2006)"

On 9/14/06, House Republican leaders announced their "Border Security Now" agenda, a list of 10 border security measures they intend to push through the House before Congress recesses at the end of September. On the same day, members of the House passed the first of these measures-the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061)-by a vote of 283-138.

"Border Security Now" includes 10 border security measures cherry-picked to ensure swift passage through the House and to give the appearance of acting on immigration issues before the November elections. Conservative members of the House whipped up voter interest in immigration reform during the August recess, but refused to move forward with existing legislation when they returned to Washington in September. Instead, with Republican candidates facing tough races before an electorate that demands action on immigration, House Republican leadership has opted to make a show of passing narrow, enforcement-focused provisions.

Legislation outlined in the agenda includes eight stand-alone bills to tighten border control, criminalize actions related to tunnel construction, increase prosecution of smuggling cases, and facilitate the detention, deportation, and expedited removal of certain undocumented immigrants. The agenda also contains two measures to fund the Secure Borders Initiative and increased numbers of border patrol agents, which House leaders plan to add directly to the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. If passed, the eight stand-alone bills would likely be included in the conference report for the 2007 Homeland Security appropriations bill.

For more details, view the "Border Security Now" agenda at the House Republican Conference website.

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