As the border wall shutdown showdown persists, it’s appropriate to detail a few relevant facts to highlight the flagrant hypocrisy of the left, their media enablers, and why their stances have seemingly changed regarding the crisis at the border and the need for border security.
Over the last few weeks, several conservative outlets have mentioned Democrat support of immigration reform and border protection in 2006 and 2013, but the scope of who voted and what they voted for has not been fully explained. I have included copies of each bill for your convenience, along with relevant quotes from each piece of legislation and the names of the Democrats who voted for them.
Senate Bill S.2611 (May 2006)
Below, you will find the complete amended version of Senate Bill S.2611, approved by a 62-36 bi-partisan vote on May 25, 2006. Immediately below the bill you will find a list of the thirty-nine Democrats who voted for it.BILLS-109s2611es
In the video below, you’ll find several familiar faces in support of border protection in 2006, with Dick Durbin (D-IL) indicating 300 to 700 miles of fencing may be inadequate.
According to the voting record for Senate Bill S.2611, the 39 Democrat Senators listed above agreed to build or rebuild no less than 406 miles of “double- or triple-layered fencing” and no less than 700 miles of vehicle barriers, as confirmed from the excerpt below from pages 16-19 of S.2611 (emphasis mine).
SEC. 106. CONSTRUCTION OF STRATEGIC BORDER FENCING AND VEHICLE BARRIERS.
(a) Tucson Sector.–The Secretary shall–
(1) replace all aged, deteriorating, or damaged primary fencing in the Tucson Sector located proximate to population centers in Douglas, Nogales, Naco, and Lukeville, Arizona with double- or triple-layered fencing running parallel to the international border between the United States and Mexico;
(2) extend the double- or triple-layered fencing for a distance of not less than 2 miles beyond urban areas, except that the double- or triple-layered fence shall extend west of Naco, Arizona, for a distance of 10 miles; and
(3) construct not less than 150 miles of vehicle barriers and all-weather roads in the Tucson Sector running parallel to the international border between the United States and Mexico in areas that are known transit points for illegal cross-border traffic.
(b) Yuma Sector.–The Secretary shall–
(1) replace all aged, deteriorating, or damaged primary fencing in the Yuma Sector located proximate to population centers in Yuma, Somerton, and San Luis, Arizona with double- or triple-layered fencing running parallel to the international border between the United States and Mexico;
(2) extend the double- or triple-layered fencing for a distance of not less than 2 miles beyond urban areas in the Yuma Sector; and
(3) construct not less than 50 miles of vehicle barriers and all-weather roads in the Yuma Sector running parallel to the international border between the United States and Mexico in areas that are known transit points for illegal cross-border traffic.
(c) Other High Trafficked Areas.–The Secretary shall construct not less than 370 miles of triple-layered fencing which may include portions already constructed in San Diego Tucson and Yuma Sectors, and 500 miles of vehicle barriers in other areas along the southwest border that the Secretary determines are areas that are most often used by smugglers and illegal aliens attempting to gain illegal entry into the United States.
(d) Construction Deadline.–The Secretary shall immediately commence construction of the fencing, barriers, and roads described in subsections (a), (b), and (c) and shall complete such construction not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(e) Report.–Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives that describes the progress that has been made in constructing the fencing, barriers, and roads described in subsections (a), (b), and (c).
(f) Authorization of Appropriations.–There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.
For anyone wondering where the 406-mile figure comes from, it’s the 370 miles plus the 2 miles on either side of the urban areas in Douglas, Lukeville, Naco, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma, AZ, along with the additional 8 miles (10 – 2) west of Naco, which totals not less than 36 miles. 370 + 36 = 406.
House of Representatives Bill H.R. 4437 (December 2005)
Before the Senate passed S.2611, the House of Representatives approved immigration legislation of their own, H.R. 4437, by a 239-182 bi-partisan vote on December 16, 2005. Of the 239 who supported the legislation, only 36 were Democrats.
Below, you will find the complete amended version of H.R. 4437, immediately followed by the list of thirty-six Democrats who voted for it. Please note: some representatives have states beside their names to distinguish them from representatives with the same surname from other states who voted against the legislation. The bold highlights are mine, indicating representatives who remain in the House.BILLS-109hr4437rfs
As you can see from the excerpt below (pages 236-237), H.R. 4437 provides more than 715 miles of 2-layer reinforced fencing and additional physical barriers along the southern border by amending the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The emphasis and bold brackets are mine.
SEC. 1002. CONSTRUCTION OF FENCING AND SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS IN BORDER AREA FROM PACIFIC OCEAN TO GULF OF MEXICO. Section 102(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-208; 8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended–
(1) in the subsection heading by striking “Near San Diego, California”; and
(2) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
“(1) Security features.–
“(A) Reinforced fencing.–In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least (sic) 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors–
“(i) extending from 10 miles west of the Tecate, California, port of entry to 10 miles east of the Tecate, California, port of entry [20 miles];
“(ii) extending from 10 miles west of the Calexico, California, port of entry to 5 miles east of the Douglas, Arizona, port of entry [more than 350 miles];
“(iii) extending from 5 miles west of the Columbus, New Mexico, port of entry to 10 miles east of El Paso, Texas [roughly 85 miles];
“(iv) extending from 5 miles northwest of the Del Rio, Texas, port of entry to 5 miles southeast of the Eagle Pass, Texas, port of entry [roughly 60 miles]; and
“(v) extending 15 miles northwest of the Laredo, Texas, port of entry to the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry [more than 200 miles].
Senate Bill S.744 (June 2013)
Below, you will find the complete amended version of Senate Bill S.744, sponsored by Chuck Schumer and approved by a 68-32 bi-partisan vote on June 27, 2013. Immediately below the bill, you will find a list of the fifty-three Democrats who voted for it.BILLS-113s744es
According to the voting record for Senate Bill S.744, the 53 Democrat Senators listed above agreed to deploy no fewer than 700 miles of pedestrian fencing, which included the replacement of vehicle fencing, as confirmed from the excerpt below from pages 15 and 44 of S.744 (emphasis mine).
…the Secretary will certify that there is in place along the Southern Border no fewer than 700 miles of pedestrian fencing which will include replacement of all currently existing vehicle fencing on non-tribal lands on the Southern Border with pedestrian fencing where possible, and after this has been accomplished may include a second layer of pedestrian fencing in those locations along the Southern Border which the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate…
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a strategy, to be known as the “Southern Border Fencing Strategy”, to identify where 700 miles of fencing (including double-layer fencing), infrastructure, and technology, including at ports of entry, should be deployed along the Southern border.
It also appears Mr. Schumer and the Democrats were a bit more ambitious than President Trump in 2013, allocation at least $7.5 Billion for fencing compared to Trump’s request for $5.6 Billion, as confirmed by the excerpt below taken from pages 52-53 of S.744.
$8,000,000,000 shall be made available to the Secretary, during the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, to procure and deploy fencing, infrastructure, and technology in accordance with the Southern Border Fencing Strategy established pursuant to section 5(b), not less than $7,500,000,000 of which shall be used to deploy, repair, or replace fencing…
And, according to page 80 of S.744, the National Guard was authorized to deploy the fencing. That’s a thrifty measure. Maybe President Trump should call a national emergency and employ the assistance of the National Guard.
(1) IN GENERAL.—National Guard units and personnel deployed under subsection (a) may be assigned such operations and missions specified in subsection (c) as may be necessary to secure the Southern border.
(2) NATURE OF DUTY.—The duty of National Guard personnel performing operations and missions described in paragraph (1) shall be full-time duty under title 32, United States Code.
(c) Range Of Operations And Missions.—The operations and missions assigned under subsection (b) shall include the temporary authority—
(1) to construct fencing, including double-layer and triple-layer fencing;
S.744 defies the Democrats’ carefully crafted narrative concerning the need for fencing, as it imposes mandatory penalties for anyone damaging or circumventing the barriers, as confirmed by the excerpt below from page 801 of S.744 (emphasis mine). We’re told that doesn’t happen.
(b) Destruction Of United States Border Controls.—Whoever knowingly and without lawful authorization destroys, alters, or damages any fence, barrier, sensor, camera, or other physical or electronic device deployed by the Federal Government to control the border or a port of entry or otherwise seeks to construct, excavate, or make any structure intended to defeat, circumvent or evade any such fence, barrier, sensor camera, or other physical or electronic device deployed by the Federal government to control the border or a port of entry shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both, and if, at the time of the offense, the person uses or carries a firearm or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm, that person shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
If you compare the list of Senators from S.2611 in 2006 and S.744 in 2013, you’ll find twenty in bold type who voted in favor of border security, including border fencing/barriers, both times. Of the twenty, ten still remain in the Senate: Cantwell, Carper, Durbin, Feinstein, Leahy, Menendez, Murray, Reed, Schumer, and Wyden. Of those, embattled Senator Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer have been the most vocal in their opposition to Trump, despite Schumer sponsoring S.744.
Bob Menendez & Cory Booker in Advance of President Trump’s Oval Office Address
President Trump’s Oval Office Address
Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi – Democrat Response to President Trump’s Oval Office Address
I would be remiss if I left out Dianne Feinstein’s apparent flip-flop concerning illegal immigration from a 1994 video brought to the conservative world’s attention by Benjamin Arie at the Conservative Tribune by Western Journal.
Hello @SenFeinstein you are absolutely correct, having illegal immigrants come here and commit felonies is NOT what this Nation is about, you must be outraged that @GavinNewsom now has California paying for 100% of their healthcare. Fix it. Support @realDonaldTrump #BuildTheWall pic.twitter.com/RMVUhAPxv4
— Rosie memos (@almostjingo) January 11, 2019
To his credit, Dick Durbin has been a bit more consistent than the rest of his ten co-signers.
Several Democrat Senators and Representatives seem to be breaking ranks from the resistance, however, and may support funding for constructing and repairing a southern border barrier if given the chance by House and Senate leadership.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Contrary to his previous voting record in 2006 and 2013, Senator Bob Menendez does concede fencing may be appropriate but not “700 miles of fencing,” while Rep. Eric Swalwell also admits a fence may be appropriate.
Some die-hard anti-Trumpers like CNN’s Jim Acosta don’t even recognize how inane their opposition is. In the video below, Mr. Acosta tries to show how unnecessary a border barrier is, yet inadvertently makes the opposite case.
I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen TX area of the border where Trump will be today. pic.twitter.com/KRoLdszLUu
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2019
CNN is so anti-Trump, they refuse to acknowledge how well the border barrier in San Diego works. When they asked KUSI News in San Diego for their take, they refuse to air it once they realized KUSI had a favorable opinion.
Thursday morning, @CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown. After we informed them about our past reports, they declined to hear from us.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) January 11, 2019
To be fair, CNN is at least giving the occasional appearance of holding elected officials accountable for their hypocrisy.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota calls out Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) for the Democrats’ “perplexing” hypocrisy on border security pic.twitter.com/bppsHbsHmj
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 11, 2019
With regard to our elected officials, what’s changed? Why did the Democrats support barriers in the past but are so adamantly opposed to them now? They are unwilling to let President Trump win…anything. Instead, they are intent on seeing him fail, even at the expense of the American people they swore to serve and protect.
Even though the President has offered to negotiate, Nancy Pelosi still refuses to budge on the wall. At least she’s consistent. She has been working against the interests of the American public for years, as evident by the fact that she voted against H.R. 4437 in 2005.
"Are you willing to come up and give him some of this money for the wall?" –@SavannahGuthrie
"Because apparently that's the sticking point." -Guthrie
"No, no. Nothing for the wall." -Pelosi
Full exclusive interview tomorrow on TODAY pic.twitter.com/6zHKXJjPbb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 2, 2019
For the government employees affected by the border shutdown showdown, the lack of pay is undoubtedly very unpleasant, but it’s necessary to yield the desired results, as President Reagan’s son Michael Reagan confirms.
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) December 20, 2018
Apparently, a supposed anonymous senior official in the Trump administration also agrees the shutdown is necessary even though personally affected.
Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed, and can never return to its previous form.
The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.
The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.
You can view the anonymous official’s full op-ed at The Daily Caller. The closing paragraphs expound on what I sarcastically wrote at the end of my shutdown showdown article: “In fact, some people may realize we can function just fine with less government. Shh, don’t tell anyone. The idea of smaller government may be contagious.”
We should all be thankful we have someone sitting in the Oval Office who is determined to serve and protect the interests of the American people. That’s why I included the video below where President Trump spent 21 minutes with Judge Jeanine Pirro candidly discussing the Democrats’ obstruction to all things Trump, from the border barrier dust-up to the firing of James Comey and the Russian collusion hoax.