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Much Ado About Nothing
By Alan Lidstone


October 08, 2006

Congress and the President lost no time in claiming that they had authorized $1.2 Billion Dollars for 698 miles of fencing on the US-Mexico border.

What they did not report was that the legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President does not limit the use of the funds to building a physical fence. It gives the President the ability to use the proceeds for a variety of programs belonging to the Homeland Security Department. In addition, the bill also gives Native American tribes, various Members of Congress, and selected Governors a "say in the placement of any fences.

The bill on 698 miles of fencing provides discretion to the Homeland Security Secretary to use the proceeds for other projects if he deems fencing as ineffective or impractical. I wonder what the Homeland Security Secretary will do since he told Congress he did not want funds for a physical fence.

Senator Judd Gregg, NH stated that the Department of Homeland Security already had the authority to build 320 miles of fences, secure 500 miles by blocking roads, and electronically monitor the rest of our 2,000 mile border.

Although Congress authorized $1.2 Billion Dollars for fencing, they only appropriated $250 Million Dollars which can be used for anything deemed as a suitable alternative by the Department of Homeland Security.

The result is that while Congress brags about giving $1.2 Billion Dollars for secure fencing, they simply added $250 Million Dollars to the Department of Homeland Security to be used anyway Homeland Security Secretary deems appropriate, and gave themselves (Congress) the authority to APPROPRIATE THE REMAINING $900 Million Dollars AT SOME UNDETERMINED TIME IN THE FUTURE.

Alan Lidstone
Venice, FL - USA

Received October 06, 2006 - Published October 08, 2006

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Ketchikan, Alaska