Senator blocks measure to increase border security

| Friday, August 04, 2006

A proposed Senate amendment to allocate $3.9 billion to border security and staffing has gotten the ax, but another amendment for $1.83 billion has been added, The Associated Press reported.

The amendment, offered by Sens. John Cornyn, R-TX, and Jon Kyl, R-AZ, would have funded Congress-approved programs that currently have no funding, such as increasing Customs and Border Protection staffing by about 1,300 people at ports of entry into the United States.

The program called for funding 500 new border patrol agents; 800 new immigration and customs officials; 1,300 additional beds in detention centers; and an electronic system designed to help employers determine the immigration status of applicants.

But Sen. Ted Stevens, R-AK, used a procedural rule to delete the funding from a defense appropriations bill.

However, a $1.83 billion amendment to finance 370 miles of fencing and 461 miles of vehicle barriers on the U.S. border with Mexico was accepted onto the appropriations bill, according to The AP.

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