U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today issued the following statement on border fencing and the Thune Amendment, which was defeated yesterday:
"I have long been a strong advocate for providing the resources necessary to secure our southern border through fencing and surveillance technology. That's why the legislation we introduced includes $1.5 billion specifically for border fencing -- which would build about 350 miles of fence, which is what the Border Patrol agents on the ground say they need. Further, under our bill, the Border Patrol's fencing strategy must be operational before any illegal immigrant can be granted a green card.
"Fencing is very important, but to actually secure our border we must deploy the latest drone and radar technology developed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Thune Amendment provided none of that. Further, this amendment would delay the process of identifying and performing background checks on illegal immigrants until an arbitrary number of miles of double-layer fencing is completed. It is in our national security interest to process the illegal immigrants in this country to find out who is here and why -- and deport those who shouldn't be -- as quickly as possible. This amendment would prevent that."