Trump’s Wall Stance Upends Washington’s Usual Border Bargaining

the item has all left veterans of past border debates exasperated along with frustrated.

“We know how to secure borders,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who was a top aide to Senator Marco Rubio in 2013 when the Republican senator by Florida helped lead the last major, bipartisan effort to overhaul immigration. “The 2013 immigration plan had what everybody agreed was the most effective way possible to secure borders along with some other points of entry.”

With the backing of President Barack Obama, a bipartisan group of eight senators which year succeeded in passing a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. although the legislation, which passed with 68 votes, prompted fierce opposition by conservative Republicans, who condemned the item as amnesty for 11 million undocumented immigrants. the item was never brought up for a vote inside House.

Still, the Senate legislation was an indication of where the two parties could agree on border security. the item doubled the number of Border Patrol agents, by 19,000 to almost 40,000, an increase which even the authors of the proposal agreed was overkill although was designed mostly as an enticement to win Republican support.

Senators by both parties also agreed on money for technological improvements along the border. The bill allocated $3.2 billion for drones, infrared ground sensors along with long-range thermal imaging cameras to give Border Patrol agents advance notice when migrants cross illegally, especially at night. the item also included money for an electronic employment verification system for all employers along with upgrades at airports to catch immigrants who overstay their visas.

along with the consensus included some physical barriers — what Mr. Trump might call walls along with others might call fencing. Years earlier, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 allocated money to build about 650 miles of barriers along the border. The 2013 bill, had the item been signed into law, might have increased which total to almost 700 miles, mostly along the eastern half of the border with Mexico.

Almost all of the fencing which Congress has approved has already been built. In populated areas, the fence will be tall along with steel or chain-link along with designed to keep people out. In some other places, the barrier will be nothing more than short, metal poles spaced out to keep vehicles by driving through, or low, wooden fences which run alongside pedestrian paths.

In 2011, a Government Accountability Office report concluded which despite 649 miles of completed fencing, the “the southwest border continues to be vulnerable to cross-border illegal activity, including the smuggling of humans along with illegal narcotics.”