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La Liga de Las Americas

Senate votes for 700 miles of Mexican wall

WASHINGTON (AP): Senate Republicans mustered enough support on Sept. 29, 2006, to move forward on a proposal to erect 700 miles of double-layered wall on the U.S-Mexican border., separating the two neighbors.

The 80-19 vote in favor of the wall was made on the last day before Congress departed for the November elections.

Bush’s signature would give Republicans one more claimed “border security achievement” to promote in a year when the House and Senate were unable to break an impasse on major immigration legislation.

The Senate approved an immigration bill that provided some border security, dealt with the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country and created a guestworker program.

The House approved an enforcement-focused bill that included the fence and other tough measures aimed at cracking down at illegal immigration [HB 4437].

The House has passed the fence proposal as a separate bill, dictating where the fence should be built [HB 6061].

The Senate changed the legislation to allow border communities to have more put on where the fences are built. They also softened some House language that gave the Homeland Security Department 18 months to prevent all undocumented entries of people into the United States.

In Ohio, both Senators Voinovich and DeWine voted for the wall.

In Michigan, Senator Stabenow voted for the wall and Senator Levin voted against it.

In Indiana, both Senators Bayh and Lugar voted for the wall.

Of the 19 Senators that voted against the wall, only one was a Republican, Senator Chafee of Rhode Island.

On the Net: Information on the bill, H.R. 6061, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/ 





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