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Senate Cloture Debate Coverage Of The Secure Fence Act (HR 6061)

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Just thought I'd drop a quick note that the Senate cloture vote regarding The Secure Fence Act (HR 6061) is today at 11AM EST.

There will be debate on the issue throughout the hour prior to 11AM

(Update: Cloture on The Secure Fence Act passed 94-0)

You can watch on CSPAN2 if you have it and I'll be reporting back on the results of the vote later on today.

Ignore spelling I'm liveblogging this. These aren't exact quotes, just the general gist of the debate. You can see my coverage of the House debate here.

Links of names go to Senator's immigration record.

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)

Points out that 14 miles of fence in San Diego has cut the illegals dramatically in that area.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

The American People are demanding action. Expect and hope cloture passes. We haven't begun to fund or build fencing passed in Comprehensive bill. Bill requires a reporting back to the Congress that things are actually being done and are effective. Currently there is no system in place to judge effectiveness. Requires fencing completed in 2008. Apprehended 1.1 million entering into country illegally last year. Now tell me that's a functional system.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Congress has had 5 years to address this issue and now that elections are approaching they bring this forward. We can build the tallest fence we want, but we need comprehensive reform like that in the Comprehensive bill passed earlier this year.

House suggestion that we can do it through just security won't work. I hope that when we come back next year that we can actually do something about immigration. We need a bill that sanctions employers and offers a guest worker program and a path to legalization.

President Bush says he supports Comprehensive reform, but has a funny way of showing it. Apprehension of just over a million is down 30% since Bush took office when there were 2 million apprehended. We received report that nuke material may be brought across our border. Since report nothing has been done regarding border security.

President Bush authorized 2000 border patrol, but no funding authorized for them. We approved over 300 miles of border fence earlier this year, but there's been no funding.

This bill has no plan to fix our immigration system in a Comprehensive manner. It's crucial that we get control of our border, but we must do it in a comprehensive manner. This is just grandstanding.

I will vote Aye and hope that we can amend it with comprehensive immigration amendments. Particularly a farmworkers prevision.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

No one suggests that building a fence is the entire solution to the problem. We haven't taken a look at systems like Canada's where they give preference to people with education and those who will bring business to America. We need to look at this. The Senate bill that passed was not good. To say we shouldn't do border fencing because it doesn't address everything is ridiculous. Don't let anyone tell you that we can't solve the immigration problem, we can do it.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Report on polling data in Nicaragua that 60% of the people want to come to America. A recent poll found in Peru it was 70%. This is a great place and a lot of people want to come here. We can't accept everyone who wants to come here to America. All fencing must be installed by 2008. Laredo area would have until December of 2008. We need to get homeland security moving on this stuff. Requires secretary to review, 30 days after this passes regarding illegal vehicles that don't stop and whether we need to address that.

Bill also includes a study of the Canadian border and what needs to be here. Crime has fallen dramatically, 56%, since border fence erected in San Diego. Apprehensions dropped from 531,000 to 111,000. Also decreased drug trafficking dramatically (I missed the exact numbers).

I think the bill is fundamentally sound in all respects. American people are watching us carefully. We have an opportunity now to stand up and make what we've been talking about a reality. Are we going to disrespect the people of this country by not passing this bill?

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

A cost effective solution to border security. Opponents saying $7 billion is an exaggeration, a contractor has quoted us 1.8 billion and that is what's in the bill. This is a one time expenditure. This fence will enable our border patrol to be more effective. It will signal to the world that our border is not wide open. It will reduce beds needed for detention and the costs of hiring as border patrol patrol. This will save us billion over the years. Far fewer planes to charter to remove deportees. This is a cost saving bill. Counting salaries and retirement etc of Border Patrol this is much cheaper. The word's going to get out that it's not so easy to get across anymore.

We also need workplace enforcement. Those things can be done. We need immigrants who pay more in taxes than we pay out. The large majority of immigrants today are high school drops. According to a study by academy of science(?) each immigrant coming here that is a high school dropout will cost taxpayers $90,000 through welfare, medical etc.

Let's get credibility with the American people and make our border a lawful border. We'll see crime go down. We'll tell the world that you can come to our country, but that you'll have to go through proper channels. We can't just accept more and more, we have to decide what that number is.

Only 20% of the green cards, permanent resident, are given out based on the skills of the applicant. How can that be in our national interest?

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

The Comprehensive "so called" Immigration Reform bill that we passed with my amendment for 370 miles of border fence will not pass. This bill will pass. We voted in this body 93-3 to funding of $1.8 billion. Though we authorized these barriers at the border, if we can't fund it we're playing a shell game. We need to make sure that we don't play a shell game with this and someone doesn't decide to spend the funding on some other "pet project" of theirs.

We'll see if appropriating the money for this is carried out and that the barriers are built. We can't have a third funding or half funding we need full funding.

We are a good and decent nation we have a positive view of immigration. We are also a nation of laws. It breaks my heart to see our federal immigration laws being broken. I think we're picking up an excessive number of aliens who are fleeing to America to escape justice. 27% in Federal penitentiary are not citizens. That doesn't even include people apprehended at the border. This is a step to restoring lawfulness in this country.

Moving to cloture vote...

(Update: Cloture on The Secure Fence Act passed 94-0)

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Posted by Digger on September 20, 2006 11:36 AM (Permalink)

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