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House Passes Border Fence Bill; GOP Vows to Boost LE Staffing, Funding

September 01, 2006  | 

The House voted Thursday to build more than 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.- Mexico border --- one of several enforcement measures promised by Republican leaders before the November midterm election.

The fencing provision, which passed 283-38, is nearly identical to one approved last year as part of a larger immigration bill that has stalled in Congress.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and other Republican leaders said they also would push measures to fund 1,200 new Border Patrol agents and 1,200 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, expedite deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes, increase the number of federal prosecutors for human smuggling cases and authorize state and local police to enforce immigration laws.

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