WASHINGTON—House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today delivered the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives during consideration of H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act of 2006:
“Our immigration system, Mr. Speaker, is fundamentally flawed. There are millions of workers in the United States who entered this country illegally. Most of those individuals mean no harm to anyone, but any government that cannot account for all those entering and leaving the country, either legally or illegally, must deal seriously and quickly with the problem, especially if the government is at war with an enemy that has publicly stated its efforts to exploit every weakness we have.
“As one border sheriff said standing by me at a news conference earlier this year - a border sheriff, by the way, from the other party, a border sheriff who understood this problem intimately: ‘If you can come across the border for the perfectly understandable reason of a better job, you can come across the border in a way that does much more harm to people than anyone can now anticipate.’
“As I have been discussing with many of my colleagues in recent days, the House has already had success in securing resources, such as additional border patrol agents and vehicles for immediate border security needs, in this year’s current budget and in the supplemental budget and in the budget we will vote on for next year later this month.
“I draw my colleague’s attention to these pictures. These pictures represent the kind of work that has been going on along the border for months now.
“Seventy-five miles of fence are already completed; forty-two miles of fence are nearing completion; more border control officers, more detention facilities, the return of people who have illegally entered this country to their country for the first time in decades, and the assistance of the National Guard -- all of this has led to a more secure border.
“Today we continue our efforts to undertake emergency measures to ensure that the operational control of the border will continue to improve.
“The Secure Fence Act of 2006 will provide over 700 miles of two-layered, reinforced fencing along the border. It will mandate that the Department of Homeland Security maintain operational control over the entire border through a virtual fence comprised of electric surveillance equipment."
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