Donald Trump doesn’t need an act of congress to build a wall along the U.S./Mexican border, a bill passed ten years ago (the Secure Fence Act) will allow him to build a barrier between the two countries. Additionally, an amendment to the bill gave the DHS Secretary discretion to make changes to the fence outlined in the bill, there’s nothing in the amendment that prevents the DHS secretary from upgrading the fence to a wall.
The Secure Fence Act was introduced on Sept. 13, 2006 by Rep Peter King (R-NY) and passed Congress on a bi-partisan basis. In the House of Representatives, the Fence Act passed 283 -138 on September 14, 2006. On September 29, 2006, the Fence Act passed in the Senate 80 -19.
The law states in part:
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States, to include the following–
(1) systematic surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the United States through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras; and (2) 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. (b) Operational Control Defined.–In this section, the term “operational control” means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.
The main goal of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was to help secure America’s borders to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking, and security threats by building 700 miles (1,100 km) of physical barriers along the Mexico-United States border. Later on in the bill it specifies what was supposed to be built was a double-layered fence with barbed-wire on top, and room for a security vehicle to patrol between the layers. Not bad right?
Of the almost 700 miles of fencing specified in the bill only 36.3 miles of double-layered fencing, as the bill required has been built Most of the 36+ miles of fencing were built during the Bush Administration…