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Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
With only a small fraction of the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico complete, California congressman and Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter is warning President Bush the construction mandated by the Secure Fence Act is falling drastically behind schedule.
“Unless construction is promptly accelerated,” Hunter wrote in a letter to Bush, “deadlines for the completion of fencing will not be met.”
Hunter’s letter was written Monday to be delivered to the White House during the Security and Prosperity Partnership third annual summit that concluded Tuesday in Montebello, Quebec.
His criticism that the Bush administration is making no significant progress constructing a fence takes added importance given Bush’s refusal to deny that a hidden SPP agenda was in the works to advance North American economic and political integration with the goal of creating a European Union-style North American Union.
The Bush administration’s unwillingness to build a border fence, even when mandated by a law Bush signed as recently as Oct. 26, 2006, questions the credibility of Bush’s denial, especially when the border with Mexico remains wide open today, nearly six years since the Bush administration declared war on terrorism.
Hunter’s letter points out the Secure Fence Act calls for completing 392 miles of fencing from Calexico, Calif., to Douglas, Ariz., by May 30, 2008.
Additionally, the act mandates 30 miles of fencing be completed in the Laredo, Texas, sector by Dec. 31, 2008.
“It is my understanding that approximately $800 million is currently available for the installation of border infrastructure,” Hunter’s letter continued. “Despite this funding, only 17.9 of the 854 miles of fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act have been completed as of Aug. 10, 2007.”
Hunter emphasized, “This lack of progress is unacceptable, especially when adequate funding is available to earnestly proceed with fence construction.”
The leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico conferred this week over the Security and Prosperity Partnership in Montebello, Quebec
He recommended President Bush “immediately direct the Department of Homeland Security to execute contracts in a way that all fencing locations identified in the Secure Fence Act are constructed concurrently.”
Hunter’s letter, crafted before Bush attempted at Tuesday’s news conference to dismiss SPP criticism by ridicule, anticipated that Bush’s denials would not be credible.
“Not only is our open and unprotected Southern land border a major exposure in the War on Terrorism,” Hunter wrote, “but large and increasing numbers of illegal aliens, as well as dangerous criminal populations, continue to move freely across the border.”
Hunter politely demanded action on building the fence.
“For the security of the United States and the safety of our nation’s citizens,” Hunter pleaded, “I respectfully request that border fence construction be immediately accelerated.”
None of the three leaders at Tuesday’s news conference made any references to the Secure Fence Act or the legislative mandate it creates for specific construction of border-security fencing by specific dates.
Hunter is widely credited with being the driving force leading to building a border-security fence in San Diego County.
“Since the construction of the San Diego Border force began in 1996,” Hunter wrote in an article posted on Hunter’s House website, “the smuggling of people and narcotics has dropped drastically, crime rates have been reduced by half according to FBI statistics, vehicle drug drive-throughs have been eliminated and apprehensions have decreased as the result of fewer crossing attempts.”
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