Senate Rejects Efforts to Secure the Border
The Senate rejected three border security amendments earlier today, May 27, 2010. Democrats managed to defeat all three measures proposed by border state senators, as they each fell short of the 60 votes required for passage. These critical amendments would have used unspent stimulus funds to provide funding and personnel to address the increasing violence and illegal immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. By rejecting these amendments, lawmakers in Washington proved that they are not serious about securing our borders.
The first amendment (S.Amdt.4214), sponsored by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and cosponsored by Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), would have funded the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to support and secure the southern land border of the United States.
Senators Kyl and McCain proposed an amendment (S.Amdt.4288) that would have provided $200 million for Operation Streamline, a program to prosecute illegal border crossers rather than release them.
Senator Cornyn’s amendment (S.Amdt.4202), cosponsored by Senators Kyl, Hutchison, and McCain, was a multi-agency border security measure that would have provided $3 billion for the federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who work on the frontlines of the U.S.-Mexico border every day. The amendment would have funded six important priorities involving border security, which include border security and technology, state and local law enforcement, southwest border taskforces, border enforcement personnel, detention and removal activities, and ports of entry.
See how your Senators voted on these critical amendments:
- Roll Call Vote No. 165 on Senate Amendment 4214;
- Roll Call Vote No. 166 on Senate Amendment 4288; and
- Roll Call Vote No. 167 on Senate Amendment 4202.
Earlier this week, President Obama announced his proposal to provide up to 1,200 members of the National Guard across a 2,000 mile border, which only adds one guardsman for every 1.6 miles of border. Under the President’s plan, if illegal border crossings happen at the same rate as in recent years, there will be 450 illegal crossings for each new National Guardsman. On the Senate floor, Senator Cornyn pointed out that President Obama’s proposal is an unacceptable short-term solution to a long-term problem, stating, “My colleagues keep repeating the White House talking points and congratulating themselves on all they’ve done for border security, but it’s not enough.”
Senator Kyl slammed today’s votes: “On the heels of the President’s ‘announcement’ to send National Guard troops to the border, it’s unfortunate to once again see actions not matching up with words. What happened today in the Senate once again demonstrates the federal government’s failure, and apparent unwillingness, to do what is necessary to secure the border.”