August 21, 2007
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
It is clear that we are falling behind in the construction of border security fencing as mandated by the Secure Fence Act (P.L. 109-367), which you signed into law on October 26, 2006. Unless construction is promptly accelerated, deadlines for the completion of fencing will not be met.
In addition to a completion date of May 30, 2008 for 392 miles of fencing extending from Calexico, California, to Douglas, Arizona, the Secure Fence Act mandates that 30 miles of fencing be completed in the Laredo, Texas, sector by December 31, 2008. Unfortunately, these scheduled mandates will be missed unless fence construction commences immediately in these locations.
It is my understanding that approximately $800 million is currently available for the installment of border infrastructure. Despite this funding, only 17.9 of the 854 miles of fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act have been completed as of August 10, 2007. This lack of progress is unacceptable, especially when adequate funding is available to earnestly proceed with fence construction.
My recommendation is that you immediately direct the Department of Homeland Security to execute contracts in such a way that all fencing locations identified in the Secure Fence Act are constructed concurrently. This will allow the construction of fencing to continue as necessary while ensuring specific fence construction deadlines are met.
Not only is our open and unprotected Southern land border a major exposure in the War on Terrorism, but large and increasing numbers of illegal aliens, as well as dangerous criminal populations, continue to move freely across the border. For the security of the United States and safety of our nation’s citizens, I respectfully request that border fence construction be immediately accelerated.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in delivering this much needed element of security to our Southern land border.
Member of Congress