Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unlawful Border Entry Prevention Act calls for 350 more miles of barriers

While construction on the border fence in Cameron County is at a standstill because of pending lawsuits, at least one local landowner is surprised by a California congressman’s introduction of legislation that calls for more fencing construction along the United States-Mexico border.

The bill, known as the Unlawful Border Entry Prevention Act and introduced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, gives Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano discretionary authority to build 350 miles of additional reinforced fencing where she deems is necessary. More than 650 miles of fence have already been approved along the U.S.-Mexico border.

If approved the legislation would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

The location of the proposed fencing would be up to Napolitano, said Joe Kaspar, spokesman for Hunter. He added the DHS would also have the option to decide if it would be second-layer fencing or an additional 350-miles of fence.

Kasper said the legislation has bipartisan support.

Co-sponsoring the legislation are Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Bart Stupak, D-Mich., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Ed Royce, R-Calif. and Brian Bilbray, R-Calif.

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