Senate Close to Crucial Border Deal

Senate negotiators are closing in on a deal to beef up the border security requirements in the proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.

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Yuri Gripas / REUTERS

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media about an immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013.

Senate negotiators are closing in on a deal to beef up the border security requirements in the proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, aides close to the talks confirmed to TIME. The agreement, which would likely pave the way for the bill’s smooth passage through the Senate, could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon.

The proposal would approximately double the number of agents patrolling the Southern border, from roughly 20,000 to 40,000, and provide for 700 miles of new fencing, according to aides close to the talks. Democratic and Republican Senators have been haggling all week over the language of the emerging plan, put forth by GOP Senators John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bob Corker of Tennessee, that could entice Republicans unsatisfied with the measure’s current security provisions without alienating Democrats, who worry that tougher standards could jeopardize the pathway to citizenship it provides.

From the outset of the immigration debate, border security has loomed as an obstacle to securing Republican votes. The agreement could garner up to a dozen or more Republican votes, aides say. That would give the bill the bipartisan momentum its architects have sought in order to put pressure on the Republican-controlled House to pass it. On Thursday, Illinois Republican Mark Kirk said he would support the agreement  — an announcement that could augur several other Republicans jumping on board.

More as this story develops.

9 comments
DaveFrancis
DaveFrancis

Let’s be very clear that this country already accepts over a million new immigrants a year, so why do we need to expand with more visas is beyond me. My personal opinion is that the U.S. Government should expedite special visas for top notch engineers, techs, scientists and math PhD’s. Even so it should only be for the well educated, but capped a reasonable numbers and not taking jobs from Americans. Then regarding Guest Workers for mainly the agricultural industry, they must be carefully vetted and must return to their country of origin when the work visa expires.

Instead of this massive build-up of 20.000 U.S. Border Patrol agents, there are some highly technical sensors that would put the earlier versions to shame and save a fortune in surveillance. Obviously the influence of the special interests had much to do with the implementation of sensors that are in the ground, with minimum effectiveness.A company that has the attributes of really doing the job has remained in the background. The Sonic Barrier by the non-profit, American Border Patrol, the system is designed to detect and count anyone and everyone who crosses the border between ports of entry.   According to Glenn Spencer, head of ABP, during the flag event an ultra light aircraft will fly north from the Mexico border. As its crosses the Sonic Barrier sensor line, a siren will send out a warbling sound signifying the detection of aircraft. "Right now our government doesn't have the means to detect ultra lights," Spencer said, "but the Sonic Barrier can do it – as everyone will see, and hear."   Following the aircraft test, a group of volunteers will head for the sensor line starting at the Mexican border. When they get within 500 to 600 feet, the siren will make a wailing sound, signifying the detection of people, Spencer explained.  Once the siren sounds, a small drone, the IDENTICOPTER, will be launched. It will fly to the point of human detection and send back video of the suspects. After that it will return to base and land, he said. "We have been testing this system for almost three years and it could help secure the border at a very low cost".

 

DaveFrancis
DaveFrancis

The Sonic Barrier, a security system that could be the final solution to the border problem, is now even better than ever, which has been testing the system, refinements in the algorithm has doubled the range at which intruders are detected. "We had a group of seven people walk toward the sensor line and the alarm sounded when they were 650 feet away," Spencer said. "In a test on Friday, the system detected two people at 530 feet," This system is significantly far superior to what lies beneath the deserts of the United States.  The U.S. Border Patrol uses stand alone ground sensors, but their range is limited to about 30 feet and they have a false alarm rate in excess of 90 percent.     Spencer said the false alarm rate for the Sonic Barrier will be extremely low, but he doesn't have enough data yet to say exactly what it will be.  The Sonic Barrier uses a continuous line of detection whereas conventional ground sensors are placed at individual locations where foot traffic is suspected. According to Spencer, the entire U.S.-Mexico border could be secured with the Sonic Barrier for one fifth of what Boeing wasted on the "Virtual Fence" in Arizona.

I am willing to bet that the Special interest from Boeing compensated certain politicians for contracting for the lousy sensors along both the North and South borders that had major flaws?

American citizens and permanent residents should have first priority on any job, and the new announced E-Verify system should take care of that issue. As 40 percent of visitors overstay their visas, the new impending electronic entry and exit method must be imposed. We have myriads of troubles where illegal immigration is concerned and without the major triggers such as the double layer parallel fencing, we are going to be facing yet another invasion after the dust settled should the Senate 477 bill becomes law. You can speak out about your frustration by calling toll-free -- 1-888-978-3094-- or you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A terminal operator will connect you directly with the Senate office or just about anybody lawmaker in Congress you request.Set up your message on Twitter or Facebook and Social network as the Left is doing the same with their ambiguous information. You can contact millions of people on these Social networks, so we can pound away at these untrustworthy politicians who many become rich by bowing to lobbyists. Read even more facts about illegal immigration at American Patrol website or Numbersusa.

 

chaokai60
chaokai60

The manpower needed in addition to patrolling in the southern border are not including those crew members in the aircraft and the pilots, which are supposed to be needed to send the psychosis, the criminals, etc. back to the cuba prison, say, at the gitmo, guantanamo bay, who may probably cross the states' borders and back to the states. 

jmac
jmac

The conservative National Review's The Corner on the compromise amendment on fences:   " . . . more boob bait for the Bubbas . . .."   You could make a huge argument that National Review's The Corner is the Bubba.  

HarryTC
HarryTC

They must be smoking something, or someone is scripting their statements and political position! For every dollar an illegal pays in taxes, they receive $5 to $10 in benefits by way of tax credits, welfare benefits, free healthcare, and free college tuition. These are facts, so when the Feds are saying that there is an improvement in the economy, they are smokin sumptin!

TyPollard
TyPollard

Why can't we convince wing-nuts that Obama wants to build the fence to keep real-American-freedom-lovers as prisoners in the new Marxist police State of Obama's dreams.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

"The proposal would approximately double the number of agents patrolling the Southern border, from roughly 20,000 to 40,000, and provide for 700 miles of new fencing, according to aides close to the talks." 

One assumes that the GOP members of Congress who support this are willing to pay for the extra expense, but not through any added revenue. Something for nothing.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@S_Deemer 


After all the GOP and their grass roots are the something for nothing crowd - they want good schools (or so they say), good roads, more than adequate fire and police protection, etc, etc., ad naseum, yet they don't want to pay for it with taxes on the wealthiest class.

jmac
jmac

@S_Deemer If we hire them, they'll come.  It's not rocket science.  It's simple.