September 10, 2008 Survey Data Shows Snail's Pace on Border American Patrol Report -- A survey data report release by American Border Patrol shows that the federal government has added only 23 miles of new fencing since April, or about five miles per month. Based on this progress it appears very unlikely that the Department of Homeland Security will meet the legal requirement of adding 340 miles of new fencing by the end of this year.
The survey data, collected as part of Operation B.E.E.F., shows that only108 new miles of new, almost entirely single-layered fencing has been added since the signing of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that called for 700 miles of double-layered fence. The ABP report shows that DHS has added 161 miles of vehicle barrier. ABP does not classify these barriers as fencing as they can be easily crossed by pedestrians and clearly do not meet the intent of Congress.
The Secure Fence Act was changed in December 2007 by an amendment pushed through by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. It gave the Secretary of Homeland Security discretion in deciding where and what type of fencing should be constructed. Some say she gutted the fence project. --
The Hutchinson amendment does require, however, that DHS complete 340 miles of fencing by December 31. "The DHS is required by law to complete 340 miles of new fencing by the end of the year, but I don't see them doing it," said Glenn Spencer of ABP.
Spencer said DHS would have to have constructed 232 miles of fencing since its last survey in late July, or 46 miles per month. "Based on recent data, it seems most likely that they will fall far short," Spencer added. Spencer said that ABP will perform another aerial survey in late September to check on fence progress.
Here Comes the Excuse -- Out of Money According to press reports, DHS says it may not have enough money to finish the border fence this year, even though Congress had provided $2.7 billion to do the job. “This is an outrage,” said Glenn Spencer of American Patrol. "The Bush Administration has constructed 108 miles of flimsy fence and 161 miles of cheap vehicle barriers that together shouldn't have cost more than five hundred million dollars. Now they are asking for additional $400 million to finish the job." Spencer said the DHS has clearly played games with the budget in order to make sure they could stop the fence now before it was discovered they had no plans to do the job anyway. "Once again the government has betrayed the American People."
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