CONGRESSMAN
DUNCAN HUNTER
Proudly Serving the 52nd District of California
     U.S. Congress
www.house.gov/hunter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2005      CONTACT: Joe Kasper (202) 225-5672

HUNTER PROPOSAL FOR STRATEGIC BORDER FENCING PASSES HOUSE

    Washington, D.C. –  Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) successfully added an amendment to H.R. 4437 (Sensenbrenner-WI), the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Control Act of 2005, requiring the incorporation of border fencing at five strategic locations along our nation’s Southern border with Mexico.  The amendment passed the House by a vote of 260-159.

    “I am pleased that my colleagues voted to replicate the success of the San Diego border fence and bring this much needed element of security to our Southern border,” said Congressman Hunter.  “Before Congress mandated the construction of the San Diego Border Fence in 1996, San Diego County possessed one of the most prolific drug smuggling corridors in the United States.  The existing border infrastructure has helped improve conditions in San Diego County by channeling illegal traffic to ports of entry and allowing border security officials to refocus their efforts on more problematic border locations.”  

    Representative Hunter, a longtime proponent of reinforcing our nation’s border with Mexico, legislatively mandated the construction of the San Diego Border Fence.  “The San Diego Border Fence continues to serve its primary function with unquestioned success,” added Hunter.  “There is no doubt that its duplication at specific locations along our southern border will be equally successful and bring us one step closer to a border region that is no longer overrun by illegal aliens.” 
                           
    The San Diego Border Fence works:
  • Illegal alien apprehensions along the fenced region were reduced from over 202,000 in 1992 to approximately 9,000 in 2004.  Further, it is estimated that the apprehensions vs. attempts ratio increased to over 90%;
  • Following the establishment of the San Diego Border Fence, crime rates in San Diego have fallen dramatically.  According to the FBI Crime Index, crime in San Diego County dropped 47.3% between 1989 to 2000;
  • Vehicle drive-throughs in the region have fallen from between 6 to 10 per day before the construction of border infrastructure to only four drive-throughs in 2004, all of which were isolated in locations where secondary fencing is incomplete;
  • The fence has forced drug smugglers, who once crossed the San Diego border without contest, to focus their efforts of access through America’s ports of entry, significantly increasing the likelihood of discovery and seizure of illegal narcotics entering the U.S.
    The Hunter Amendment mandates security fencing in the following five border zones:
  • Tecate, California (22 miles, approximately 10 miles East and West of the current port of entry);
      • The Tecate Port of Entry is located in East San Diego County beyond the existing fence infrastructure.
  • Calexico, California to Douglas, Arizona (361 miles);
      • One of the most heavily trafficked border sections in both illegal aliens and narcotics.  Securing this location would require thousands of Border Patrol agents.  Installing physical barriers will provide the Border Patrol with time to respond to illegal traffic.
  • Columbus, New Mexico to El Paso, Texas (88 miles);
      • Due to its network of roads and pick-up locations just north of the border, there has been a sharp increase in both apprehensions and deaths in this quadrant.
  • Del Rio, Texas to Eagle Pass, Texas (51 miles);
  • Laredo, Texas to Brownsville, Texas (176 miles).
    H.R. 4437, with the Hunter language, awaits consideration by the full House.

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