Immigration Enforcement

Omnibus Appropriations Bill Guts Fencing, Other Immigration-Related revisions

From FAIR:

This week, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) came under increasing pressure for her amendment to the FY08 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R.2764) that grants the Department of Homeland Security significant discretion regarding the border fence (Houston Chronicle, January 12, 2008). Approximately 700 miles of two-layered fencing was mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006, but since the legislation was signed into law, critics have been looking for opportunities to undermine it. Senator Hutchison as early as January 2007 expressed “deep skepticism” about the fence (Dallas Morning News, January 10, 2007) and during the course of the past year successfully offered several amendments that required Homeland Security to increase consultation with border communities and gave the Department more discretion in building the fence. None of the bills to which these amendments were attached passed, however, until the Omnibus Appropriations legislation was enacted in December.

Border security advocates claim the Hutchison amendment dismantles the Secure Fence Act. The amendment: (1) eliminates the requirement for two-layered fencing; (2) deletes the specific locations for fencing set out in statute and replaces them with language that gives Homeland Security broad discretion in determining where the fencing will be built; and (3) has a sweeping consultation requirement that requires Homeland Security to consult with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as Indian tribes and “property owners.”

Finally the Hutchison amendment is particularly troubling to fence advocates because of a paragraph that some argue calls into doubt the construction of any fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. That language provides that notwithstanding the requirement that Homeland Security construct 700 miles of fencing along the southwest border, “[N]othing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location along an international border of the United States, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location” (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Division E, § 564(a)(2)(B)(ii) [internal paragraph (D)]).

Already, opponents of the border fence are gearing up for a lawsuit based on Hutchison’s amendment. Peter Schey, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, an organization supporting several opponents of the fence, sent Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff a letter on Monday threatening legal action to prevent any further fence construction. Schey’s principal claim is that the Secretary must restart the process of building the fence in order to consult with affected parties as required by the Hutchison amendment (Dallas Morning News, January 9, 2008).

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), one of the authors of the Secure Fence Act, told reporters Friday that the Texas Senator’s change was “either a blatant oversight or a deliberate attempt to disregard the border security of our country” (United Press International, January 11, 2008). In response to her critics, Senator Hutchison said, “I feel like this has been a little blown out of proportion” (Houston Chronicle, January 12, 2008). Hutchison insists her measure in no way jeopardizes the fence construction once due to get under way in Texas in the spring (Id.).

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January 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Duncan Hunter to make an announcement; Update: He’s staying in, blasts media “knuckleheads”

By Michelle Malkin • January 7, 2008 12:48 PM

Update 2:38pm Eastern. Rep. Hunter is staying in the race. He blasted “knucklehead, arrogant” TV execs at ABC and Fox for excluding him from the presidential debates this weekend.

Good on Rep. Hunter for sticking it out. As he noted, he picked up one presidential delegate in Wyoming. That’s one more than many of the prez candidates who were allowed to sit at the debate tables.

Here’s CNN’s brief dispatch on the announcement: “”So here’s my answer: I’m not going to quit. I’m staying in.”

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Just in from the Hunter campaign. News coming at 2:00pm Eastern:

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2007
Contact: Bob Bevill, (978) 339-3198, (603) 913-1770

Presidential Candidate and California Congressman Duncan Hunter will be making a major announcement today at 2:00 p.m. (EST), regarding the future of his Presidential bid. All media are encouraged to attend or contact Bob Bevill, National Media Coordinator, to arrange alternate interviews.

DUNCAN HUNTER ANNOUNCEMENT
Radisson Hotel Lobby
700 Elm Street
Manchester, New Hampshire
2:00 p.m. (EST)

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Rep. Hunter has been a stalwart advocate for strict immigration enforcement, border security, and a strong national defense. If he withdraws, which seems likely, his presence will be greatly missed by grass-roots conservatives. I’ve never been able to answer questions from readers about why his campaign never caught fire given his excellent credentials and expertise (compared to, say, Mike Huckabee’s). Politics is weird and inexplicable like that.

Question: Will Hunter throw his support to one of the other candidates? Which one?

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Ed Morrissey pays tribute:

Hunter faced the same problem as anyone else running from the House: a small constituency. Hunter has never had to conduct a campaign outside of his Congressional district, and that makes a big difference when running for President. He couldn’t carry California, which isn’t as big of a handicap — for instance, no one thinks Mitt Romney will carry Massachusetts in a general election — but the lack of notoriety that comes from being one of 435 instead of 1 of 100 or one of 50 becomes a big burden to overcome.

I also have to mention that he is even more impressive in person than on television. He is warm, engaging, and sharp. Hunter needed no scripts at the CLC to chat with us over dinner about policy or electoral strategy. He has a personality and a sense of humor that gets shortchanged in the debate formats used in this cycle, and although it probably wouldn’t have made a lot of difference in his traction, it would have been nice to see more people get to know Hunter better.

If Hunter leaves, the rest of us should hope that a Republican winner will find room for Hunter in the next administration. He would make an excellent Secretary of Defense, or perhaps the head of Homeland Security, if he’s crazy enough to take it. This man still has plenty of service left to give our nation; let’s hope someone puts him to use.

January 8, 2008 Posted by | duncan hunter, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith announcing his endorsement of Duncan Hunter for President

Dear New Hampshire Friends:
After spending several weeks listening to all of the candidates, I have decided to support Congressman Duncan Hunter for President. I do not take this decision lightly. There are a lot of fine men running for this office and I know that many of you may have already made your choice.Your vote in the “First in the Nation Primary” is a very precious and personal right. Your decision will likely determine who will be the next leader of the free world. What an awesome responsibility! I only ask that you give serious consideration to the points that I make in this letter of endorsement for Congressman Hunter before you vote.
The Republican Party, but more importantly our nation, needs strong conservative and inspirational leadership as we continue to face the threats to our liberty in the form of immorality, corruption, terrorism, a mountain of debt, border insecurity, loss of jobs and attempts to weaken our national defense. Here is why Duncan Hunter is that leader!
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December 21, 2007 Posted by | duncan hunter, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

HUNTER: “THOSE HERE ILLEGALLY HAVE TO GO HOME.”

San Diego, CA –Presidential candidate Congressman Duncan Hunter joined other Republican candidates for President in a Spanish only broadcast debate Sunday night. The Miami event allowed the San Diego native the opportunity to show, once again, that he would be the President for all Americans.

While the other candidates pandered to the audience and evaded many of the questions, Hunter answered the moderator and the audience directly. Specifically, when asked what should be done with the 12 million illegal immigrants that now live in the United States, Hunter said the solution is simple, “Those here illegally have to go home.”

“When I came back from Vietnam, I was a practicing lawyer in the barrio. I was the only lawyer there, and I never turned away a family that came in and needed help. But, I told them they had to be here legally, because the first thing you’ve got to learn in this country is the rule of law. And, the second thing is you have to make sure that your kids learn English, because that is the American opportunity. Read More…

December 12, 2007 Posted by | duncan hunter, Uncategorized, united states | , , | Leave a comment