Assigned Reading: DeMint Wins Vote For Border Fence!
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., won a 54-44 vote to require double-layer fences along 700 miles of the border with Mexico rather than vehicle barriers and high-tech equipment.
DeMint said the U.S.-Mexico border “has become a battleground” as drug and weapons traffickers, along with illegal immigrants, move too freely. He said the department is spending too much on “virtual” fencing such as motion detectors. Those barriers, he said, don’t work as well as a real fence designed to block people crossing the border on foot.
Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, countered that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was the best judge of fencing for various parts of the border. He said some stretches of physical fencing can cost up to $5 million per mile.
DeMint’s amendment is likely to be dropped during House-Senate talks on a compromise version of the bill.
I know why Republicans are fighting each other with regard to the border fence. They’ve bought into the myth, see, that backing the enforcement of our current immigration laws and actually working to secure our nation’s borders will somehow mean the loss of the Hispanic vote and thus the destruction of the Republican Party.
It’s a lie, a misrepresentation which has been perfectly executed by the same mainstream press that, in just a few months, will begin to inform the American people that Colin Powell and a center-tacking GOP are the only solutions for the political right. Truth be told, we’re seeing over and over and over again that the United States of America is a center-right nation, if not a right-center nation. To be successful, the GOP does not need to actively court the Hispanic vote. If American Hispanics are more comfortable voting for a party that believes in a limited federal government and the sanctity of life, then so be it; if they don’t, then so long as the GOP shores up its conservative bona fides, the party will be just fine. Furthermore, to adopt the idea that Hispanics vote in a bloc is to take away from the fiercely independent spirit of not only just Hispanics but all ethnic Americans.
Regardless, it should be pointed out that, once again, it’s South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint rising to the top and doing what needs to be done for America. And while the amendment will indeed likely be scrubbed, it is on the Republicans to adopt a stance of constructive obstructionism and come together behind DeMint’s efforts. To the extent it is possible considering the border failures of the Bush administration as well, make the Democrats own continued instability and lack of security on our southern border.