WASHINGTON — The Senate agreed Thursday to add $600 million to the effort to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the U.S. Mexican border.
The money would be used for such purposes as adding 1,500 new enforcement agents and deploying unmanned aerial drones to improve border surveillance.
The voice vote to pass the emergency spending came in the final hours before the Senate leaves for its monthlong summer break. Its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, said it would boost border spending 10 percent above 2010 levels.
President Barack Obama has urged Congress to come up with $600 million to reinforce border security, and, with Arizona’s attempt to crack down on undocumented immigrants bringing national focus to the issue, both Republicans and Democrats have endorsed more robust border security spending.
The main stumbling block has been how to pay for the increased spending. Republicans sought to use unspent funds from the economic stimulus act, an idea rejected by Democrats.
The Democratic plan passed Thursday would boost fees assessed on foreign-based personnel companies that take advantage of U.S. visa programs, such as the H-1B visa program for temporary skilled workers, to bring foreign workers, mainly from India, into the United States.
The House last week passed similar legislation with $701 million in emergency money for border security. It could take up the Senate bill when it interrupts its August recess next Tuesday for a one-day session to approve a Senate-passed jobs bill.
That explains what is going to stop the illegal immigrants. Now…what is going to stop the illegal drugs that are coming across the border? How about the illegal drug cartels who have no intention of becoming immigrants? I hope those ‘illegals’ are somehow part of the plan also.
Just so everyone knows that it will be impossible to completely secure the border. Unless we build a wall where we look like East Germany, there will always be leaks. The human spirit will always find a way….