*I know I had said I wasn’t going to write a political post. But I think I failed to mention that I wasn’t going to write about the presidential candidates, and biasedly write based on my own opinion and of-the-moment feelings. However, I think it is my duty as an American citizen, to understand what goes on in my nation’s government, and be able to separate manufactured false news from pure, undisputed fact. Any political posts from here on out, are not designed to be opinionated, or written to stir up problems. My aim is to write posts that present the facts of a situation from reputable sources, which then inspire intelligent conversations.*
Mixed into the first twelve executive orders from President Trump, was an order that immediately calls for funding and planning to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. In the first paragraph, many previous acts and laws were cited, including The Secure Fence Act of 2006. The unfortunate thing about this particular piece of legislature, is the simple fact that very few people know it exists.
The Secure Fence Act was introduced September 13, 2006 in the House of Representatives and was signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006. This Act’s intention is “to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States”. It defines “operational control” as “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband”. Under Section 2, the plan for securing the border is outlined: “physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States and facilitate access to the international land and maritime borders by United States Customs and Border Protection, such as additional checkpoints, all weather access roads, and vehicle barriers”. This Act called for 700 miles of a double-layer border fence, in order to protect America’s southern most border. However, by 2011, only 5% of the borders put in place were double-layer (roughly 36.6 miles). Mixed into that, 649 out of 652 miles were complete; 299 were vehicle barriers and 350 were pedestrian borders. At this time, there was no continuous, solid wall covering the length of the southern border.
It is surprising to note that Hillary Clinton (D, NY, 2001-2009) voted “yea” to pass The Secure Border Act on September 29 2006, when the Act was in the Senate. Her vote was considered a “statistically notable vote”, because it was a very surprising, and least predictable vote. She was not anticipated to vote in support of this Act. Also, it should be remembered that former-President Obama commented on this Act. On May 10, 2011 at a speech in El Paso, Obama said “The fence is basically complete”. Both of these key people knew about this Act, and were aware of a physical border being placed around the southern most section of the United States.
President Trump’s idea for a physical wall is not an new idea. His executive order is building upon laws and acts previously approved by the House and the Senate, and signed by a former President. Section 2 of the executive order states: “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism”. The order then goes on to define a “wall” as “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier”. Simply put, President Trump is aiming to make the fence created by The Secure Fence Act of 2006 more sturdy and impassable.
Whether you agree with the motives behind building the wall or not, these facts still stand as researchable, historical, and credible facts. They are also facts that have not been mentioned much by the media throughout the election, creating the illusion that “building a wall” was a brand new, terrifying idea.
Ciao for now,
- White House Executive Order
- H.R. 6061 (109th): Secure Fence Act of 2006
- Senate Vote #262 in 2006
- President Obama at El Paso– (16:45-17:15)