Bush brings plan to the border

first_imgBush did not declare his support for either of Congress’ two competing proposals – one approved by the House that would build 700 miles of fencing and a provision in the Senate bill that would build half that. Instead, he said the decision should be up to the Border Patrol.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“People’s work is making a difference,” the president said. “But we do not have full control of the border.” Bush wants a sweeping immigration overhaul that combines enhanced border-security measures with a guest worker program. But he faces stiff resistance from conservative Republicans, particularly in the House, who prefer a get-tough approach and largely oppose a Bush-backed guest-worker program, which they see as providing amnesty for criminal behavior. House legislation that passed last year would make all illegal immigrants subject to prosecution as felons. While the president visited the U.S.-Mexico border, the Senate continued a heated debate over broad legislation that largely does what Bush wants. “The Senate needs to get the bill out,” Bush said. Eager to win over conservative opponents, the president has been talking increasingly tough. On Monday, he proposed deploying up to 6,000 National Guard troops along the international line to support Border Patrol agents until their ranks can be expanded. On Thursday, he said it makes sense to put up fencing along some parts of the border. SAN LUIS, Ariz. – President George W. Bush peered across this hot, dusty and very busy illegal crossing point Thursday, hoping to offer conservatives balking at a broad immigration bill firsthand evidence that he’s serious about tightening the nation’s 2,000-mile border with Mexico. He said fences would help stop people from sneaking into the United States. The president showed off a section of the border that is seeing a rising tide of illegal immigrants and other smuggling. The United States is responding with increased manpower – including help from the National Guard – and a newly beefed-up enforcement zone that features two layers of tall fencing, a concrete culvert, floodlights, watch towers and camera surveillance. “I think it helps to have the president out here, seeing the part of the area of the country that one time was overrun by people coming in here, that’s beginning to get settled down because of a strategy that’s being employed,” Bush said later in a packed room at the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector headquarters about 30 miles away. last_img read more

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