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Press Release - Reichert Praises New Border Security Fence

Location: Mercer Island , WA

Reichert Praises New Border Security Fence
Construction of new 700-mile fence along southern border will decrease traffic

Mercer Island , WA - Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) released the following statement after the President signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, H.R. 6061, into law today:

"We need to strengthen our borders and protect this nation. Too many illegal immigrants are able to cross our borders and too many criminals are able to exploit our immigration laws. According to the American Immigration Law Foundation, in my district alone the number of illegal immigrants living in the District increased 120% between 2000 and 2005. This legislation is a necessary step in ensuring our nation and its borders are secure. As the Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, I believe we should take every possible step to protect this nation. Not only do Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups consider our borders a weakness, but criminal alien gangs have continued to exploit our nation's porous borders to enter our communities.

"Border fencing is a proven deterrent to illegal immigration. In 1996, Congress mandated the construction of a 14-mile fence along the San Diego-Mexico border to stop drug trafficking and the flow of illegal immigration. In the region, apprehensions of undocumented immigrants dropped from approximately 200,000 in 1992 to about 9,000 in 2005."

Congressman Reichert continued, "More must be done and we must address the varied aspects crucial to complete immigration reform in this country. It is vitally important that we implement long-term immigration reform. This will allow us to focus valuable resources on those we know to be a threat and in this country with the intent to harm, rather than individuals who are here to better their lives and that of their families. We need a policy that strengthens our borders and protects this nation, but that also makes it simpler for good people to become Americans. We need to provide a way for undocumented immigrants to register and become lawful, contributing citizens. There must be penalties for individuals who've violated American immigration laws and for those who employ them. We must also encourage undocumented individuals to "get right" with our government and register."


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