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Harry Reid eats crow on border security funding: "I was wrong and Senator Cornyn was right"

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 26, 2007 12:36 PM

First, watch this as Harry Reid eats crow (hat tip: Senate tipster):

After Reid and the Dems tangled with the GOP last night, the Senate just passed a good border security funding amendment today, 89-1.

The goat who voted against it? Babbling George Voinovich.

The Corner has some back story. Yeah, Lindsay Grahamnesty was involved, but the movers and shakers were solid enforcement-first senators like John Cornyn.

Oh, and if Grahamnesty think this rectifies all his smearing of grass-roots conservatives as bigots, he’s delusional.

Here’s the roll (check out the fence-sitters, too):


The amendment summary, via BP:

“There is hereby appropriated $3,000,000,000 to satisfy the requirements set out in section 1002(a) and, if any amount remains after satisfying such requirements, to achieve and maintain operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States, for employment eligibility verification improvements, for increased removal and detention of visa overstays, criminal aliens, aliens who have illegally reentered the United States, and for reimbursement of State and local section 287(g) expenses. These amounts are designated as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 204 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress).”


The amendment would provide emergency funding of $3 billion for:

· Hiring 500 more Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers per year (FY08-12), 1200 more Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents per year, 200 investigators to combat aliens smuggling, 50 Deputy U.S. Marshals;

· 23,000 Border Patrol agents hired, trained, and reporting for duty;

· 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & 105 ground-based radar and camera towers;

· 300 miles of vehicle barriers & 700 miles of border fencing;

· A permanent end to the “catch-and-release” policy with 45,000 detention beds;

· Operational control over 100% of the U.S.-Mexico land border;

· To allow DHS to present a photo electronically to an employer so that the employer may confirm the identity of the individual when he presents ID;

· To require mandatory detention of aliens who overstay their visa by 60 days;

· To increase penalties for illegal entrants who are criminals of those who reentered after a deportation; and

· To reimburse local governments who choose to cooperation with ICE in enforcing the immigration laws (INA 287g).

287g is a focus of Deport Them Now.

From Cornyn’s office:

In an overwhelming vote, the U.S. Senate today passed an amendment offered by Senate Republicans to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill which would provide $3 billion in emergency funding for border security. Importantly, the amendment also includes a provision drafted by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to allow this money to be used for enforcing America’s immigration laws, including electronic employment verification improvements and the increased removal and detention of visa overstays.

Sen. Cornyn, the top Republican on the Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee, said, “Addressing the problem of illegal immigration shouldn’t stop at our borders. We need to restore the confidence of the American people that the federal government is committed to enforcing our immigration laws. This funding will not only put more boots on the ground at our borders but it will also provide additional resources for law enforcement to remove dangerous felons who are here illegally. This is an important, bipartisan step forward to strengthening America’s security. I’m pleased my colleagues in both parties agreed to this important amendment.”

It’s a start.

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