Jun 14 2007

President Bush Backs Graham-Kyl Amendment for Mandatory Funding for Border Security Efforts

WASHINGTON -- President Bush today came out strongly in support of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) proposed amendment to the Senate immigration bill requiring mandatory funding for border security and enforcement provisions contained in the legislation.


“The moment the presidential signing pen meets the paper these funds will be available,” said Graham.  “I’m very pleased President Bush has embraced the Graham-Kyl Amendment requiring mandatory funding for border security and enforcement.”


Today, in a speech to the Associated Builders and Contractors President Bush said, “We're going to show the American people that the promises in this bill will be kept” and that the legislation would also “show the American people that we’re going to do our jobs of securing this border once and for all.”  


Graham’s proposed amendment, introduced with Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), will immediately make available $4.4 billion in mandatory spending to secure our nation’s borders.  Funds will be spent on miles of new fencing, miles of new vehicle barriers, surveillance towers, detention beds, the Electronic Employee Verification System (EEVS), and other enforcement programs.  The penalties paid by z-visa holders as a condition of their punishment and probation would reimburse taxpayers for the border security improvements.


“The funds will be ready to use in our efforts to construct miles of new fencing, miles of new vehicle barriers, utilize new cutting-edge technology at the border, build surveillance towers, institute an EEVS to ensure workers are legal, and other enforcement measures,” said Graham.


“Congress has listened and heard the constructive criticism which has been offered,” said Graham.  “The Graham-Kyl Amendment addresses legitimate concerns on the part of the American people that Congress would not fund our border security efforts.  I believe we have now addressed those concerns and I expect Congress will pass this amendment when we return to immigration reform.”