News Releases

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Isakson, Chambliss Praise Approval of Funds to Secure U.S. Border

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today voted in favor of an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill that would provide funds to immediately pay for some of the manpower and technology necessary to secure the U.S. border. The amendment passed by a vote of 89 to 1.

"There's no greater domestic issue in this country than the problems on our southern border with Mexico, and it is clear we have a crisis in confidence among the American people over our commitment to secure the border ," Isakson said. "This amendment is a step in the right direction. It is time we stop making promises. It is time we start delivering. America is too important, and this issue is too critical to the American people."

"All of us heard from our constituents during the immigration debate that while we need to take steps toward immigration reform, the first thing we need to do is take action to ensure that our borders are secure," said Chambliss. "This is a step in the right direction, but we still need the President to send an emergency supplemental bill to Congress to immediately fund border security."    

Major provisions of the amendment, which was authored by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), include:

  • Achieving full operational control over 100 percent of the U.S.-Mexico land border.
  • Hiring, training and deploying of 23,000 Border Patrol agents.
  • Putting into operation four unmanned aerial vehicles and 105 ground-based radar and camera towers.
  • Constructing 300 miles of permanent vehicle barriers and 700 miles of border fencing.
  • Acquiring 45,000 detention beds to put a permanent end to 'Catch and Release.'

Isakson and Chambliss also renewed calls for President Bush to send an emergency supplemental spending bill to Congress to fully fund border security. The Georgia senators have sent two letters to the president emphasizing that border security must be de-coupled from other immigration reform measures. Additionally, Isakson and Chambliss told the president during a meeting with other senators on Capitol Hill that emergency supplemental funds to secure the border will go a long way towards restoring the confidence of the American people in the federal government's commitment to border security.