Critics including Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions are slamming a House GOP border security plan set for debate Wednesday, claiming it will spend $10 billion on new equipment and border security tricks, but not send one single illegal home.
Sessions, the influential Center for Immigration Studies, and the head of the association of former Border Control agents all slammed the H.R. 399 being marked up in the House Homeland Security Committee today as unfocused on the No. 1 issue: U.S. sanctuary to illegals.
“As long as sanctuary cities, welfare, education, and jobs and principally lack of enforcement and enabling by the federal government, are made available to the undocumented alien, we will not be able to secure the physical border,” said Zack Taylor, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.
“Until lawmakers end the catch-and-release policies of the Obama administration,” said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, “any infrastructure improvements, new strategies, and better metrics are pointless.”
Sessions, the key conservative immigration strategist in the Senate, added, “it does not end catch-and-release; it does not require mandatory detention and return; it does not include worksite enforcement; it does not close dangerous asylum and national security loopholes; it does not cut-off access to federal welfare; and it does not require completion of the border fence. Surprisingly, it delays and weakens the longstanding unfulfilled statutory requirement for a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.”
The plan pushed by House Homeland Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul would devote billions to new technologies, added border agents, fencing, and surveillance strategies to the border. He said securing the border is his No. 1 goal. The bill, the first of several piecemeal proposals on immigration, is expected to win GOP and some Democratic support.
But critics claim that the first focus should be shutting down the Obama revolving door and let agents capture illegals and quickly deport them.
“It falls far short of what is needed to slow the flow of illegal immigration and prevent the entry of terrorists and criminals. It proposes to spend $10 billion of taxpayer money without ensuring that a single illegal alien will be sent home,” said Vaughan on her blog.
Other critics said while they welcome more border fencing, adding chain link has not been the answer, especially today when illegals can present themselves at border gates and be welcomed in. For example, said one, Congress in 2006 mandated 700 miles of double-layer fencing but only 36 miles were ever built and the McCaul bill seeks another 27 miles, totaling 63 of the previously-mandated 700.