This week, very showily, Bush signed the Border Fence Bill that is a sham DogNPony intended only to try to appease constituents who are concerned with border security, but contains no provisions at this point to do so. John Cornyn said before that it was only a symbolic gesture... why? Because there's been NO MONEY appropriate yet to even PAY for it (can YOU say *unfunded mandate*?) And, as we've pointed out here before, it isn't even as if when the money does get coughed up, it will necessarily go for a physical border fence. Cornyn also showed here that the whole physical wall idea is not only a 19th century idea but voted for strictly for political reasons.On Lou Dobbs show last night during a "Broken Borders" segment, he talked about the fact that the funding for this isn't even going to come up to be discussed until AFTER the election. That tells you something.
Some GOP lawmakers called it a major step toward stemming the flow of illegal immigrants. Bush called it a start. Democrats called it a publicity stunt 12 days before Election Day aimed at making GOP candidates look tough on immigration.
"We have more to do," Bush said at the White House signing ceremony. "Meaningful immigration reform means that we must enforce our immigration laws in the United States."
Well, uh, Yeah. Hire more inspectors to DO enforcement of those illegally hire and stiffly FINE them.
Though referred to as the "fence bill," the measure actually gives the Department of Homeland Security leeway to determine how best to secure the border. Among the options are two-layered fencing in several key areas, as well as more cameras, ground sensors, lighting and unmanned aerial vehicles.
A separate measure, previously signed by the president, includes $1.2 billion for fencing, barriers and other infrastructure.
Estimates for the 700 miles of fencing range from $2 billion to $7 billion. Many lawmakers and immigrant advocates say they doubt it will happen.
Earlier this month, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a key liaison to the White House on immigration, said the 700 miles of fencing would not likely be constructed because of a lack of money and other practical considerations.
The fence could take the form of chain link to solid wall. Boeing Co. was awarded a $67 million contract to install a high-tech "virtual fence" along 28 miles in Arizona and will help to determine its proposed design.
Why do some think it's a stunt timed for the election?
Congress completed work on the bill Sept. 29 but did not send it to the White House until Monday. Bush had 10 days from then to sign the bill, guaranteeing it would get his signature in the closing days of the congressional election campaigns.
The Border Patrol union thinks it's a stunt, too
T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing Border Patrol agents, called the bill signing a "political ploy to show the public they are serious about securing the border."
"Nothing could be further from the truth," Bonner said, predicting increased assaults on Border Patrol agents.
But I have a larger question. Sid Miller, in a debate held with Ernie Casbeer this week in Stephenville (Erath County) commented (AUDIO) about how he supports Rick Perry spending 100 million on border security, the idea being that Rick Perry was spending our state funds for border security before the national government stepped up to the plate (let me amend that, the national government STILL isn't stepping up to the plate, it's a Show Sham). Now, this is not 100 million that Perry HAS spent, but is going to, if he's elected, ask the State Legislature to spend.
Perry talked up his efforts to fight crime along the Texas-Mexico border, including sending National Guard troops there even before President Bush asked them to go. He said again that he'll ask the Legislature for $100 million to sustain border crime-fighting programs.
We have a dang funding crisis. We don't pay teachers enough, for example, and we have CUT their retirement and health benefits, but Perry wants the Texas Lege to come up with 100 mill?
So here's what seems ironic to me. Is the Bush Border Signing Bill a Bait and Switch? So that we think that our income taxes are being used to fund various things, but actually we're being stuck by it on a state level.
Seems to me that is nothing to brag about. The whole thing is election propaganda and I don't agree with Perry wanting to, IF he's elected, spend Texas monies for that.