News Releases

Wednesday, October 3, 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 Department of Defense 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 95 to 1.

"There's no greater domestic issue in this country than the problems on our southern border with Mexico, and it is time that Congress makes a commitment to make border security a reality," 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."

"A few months ago we had a very heated immigration fight in which we heard overwhelmingly from the American public that border security is their number one concern," said Chambliss. "We once again have an opportunity to show the nation that we are serious about securing our borders, and I'm pleased my colleagues in the Senate were supportive of this measure."

Major provisions of the amendment, which was authored by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., include:

  • Establishes full operational control over 100 percent of the U.S.-Mexico land border;
  • Provides funding to procure unmanned aerial vehicles, ground sensors and vehicle barriers;
  • Provides funding to construct 700 miles of border fencing; and
  • Increases the ability to detain illegal immigrants caught within U.S. borders.

In addition, the amendment provides $60 million to improve the nation's employment verification system, which Isakson and Chambliss believe is critical to achieving control of the border.

Isakson and Chambliss have repeatedly called 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.