Washington Times Article Today
Group Seeks Security Fence
By Jerry SeperTHE WASHINGTON TIMES
A Pennsylvania-based advocacy group seeking the construction of a security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border has delivered nearly 20,000 petitions to members of Congress asking that a fence provision be included in a comprehensive immigration bill pending in the House.
Colin Hanna, president of WeNeedAFence.com, said that a "secure continuous physical barrier is absolutely essential" for any comprehensive immigration legislation to succeed.
"Now virtually every member of Congress will know how deeply their own constituents feel about the need to get serious about securing our borders," Mr. Hanna told The Washington Times yesterday.
"Only a high-tech border security fence can stop the flow of potential terrorists across the border, and secure our borders for good," he said.
The organization's proposal calls for the construction of separate fences on both sides of the border, each 12 to 15 feet high, which would be separated by a roadway to allow the passage of vehicles by the U.S. Border Patrol. Motion sensors would be buried in the road as part of the project, which would cost $4 billion to $8 billion.
The structure would be 40 to 50 yards wide, with coiled barbed wire stacked eight feet high on each perimeter, and would include a ditch to prevent vehicles from approaching.
"Our proposal calls for 200 ports of entry, so that legitimate trade, commerce, tourism and commuting can take place without hindrance," Mr. Hanna said. "The fence is not intended to stop immigration, only to stop illegal immigration."
Mr. Hanna said 20,000 petitions calling for legislative action on a state-of-the-art border security fence were delivered Monday, having been sorted by address and matched with their corresponding congressional districts. He said he hoped they would persuade some member of Congress to offer an amendment to the immigration bill for a secure border fence.
He also said the organization has met with more than 50 members of Congress or their staff, as well as administration officials, to promote the plan.
Mr. Hanna said illegal immigration is out of control, particularly across the southern border, adding that some studies -- including a January report by Bear Stearns -- estimate that as many as 20 million illegal aliens live in the U.S. Govs. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Janet Napolitano of Arizona have responded to the problem of illegal immigration by declaring states of emergency.
More than 1.15 million illegal aliens were apprehended last year by the Border Patrol, the vast majority of whom were caught trying to enter from Mexico.
Mr. Hanna said a secure border fence must be one element of any comprehensive effort to address the problem. He said similar fences in Israel have reduced terrorist attacks there by up to 95 percent. He also said that until the border is secured and the tide of illegal immigration is stemmed, proposals to adjust immigration quotas, whether up or down, are doomed to ineffectiveness.
illegal immigration, terrorism prevention, terrorism, Politics , Current Affairs