Thursday, May 24, 2007

Texas Senators put in border fence amendment.

Immigration: This would be the no chance in hell anything will be billed along the border.

Texas' senators slipped an amendment into the Senate immigration bill now being debated to try to give people and officials in the state more say on where border fencing is erected.

The amendment, sponsored by Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, R-N.M., and co-sponsored by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, passed by a voice vote and requires the Department of Homeland Security to take into consideration concerns raised by states, local governments and property owners in places where fences would be constructed.

The larger immigration bill in which the amendment was included is still being debated and won't come up for a vote until June. The House has not considered an immigration bill yet.

It also give the department authorization to install fencing where they think it is best used, rather than erecting it where mandated by Congress.

Texas officials have protested plans by the Homeland Security Department to erect fencing on parts of the approximately 1,200-mile Texas border with Mexico, saying they were not consulted as they were promised they would be. The officials learned where the department wanted to put the fencing after landowners were approached and a map depicting sites for the fencing became public. Also they recently learned of a contract bid proposal.

Officials have said it would hurt relations with Mexico, could damage wildlife and hurt the industries built around the states birding and tourism industries on the border, keep landowners from using the Rio Grande to water cattle and irrigate crops and change a way of life that is binational.

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