Alexander Proposes Amendment to Include Governors in Certifying Border as Secure

Cites Need for Certification by Officials “Outside Washington”

Posted on June 7, 2007

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has proposed an amendment to the immigration bill that would prevent other elements of the legislation from being implemented unless three out of four governors on the U.S. - Mexico border certify the border is secure. “After 20 years of mismanagement, Americans have zero confidence in the federal government’s willingness to control the border,” Alexander said. “The way to restore that confidence is to first, pass a strong border security bill; second, to fund it; and third, require the federal government to get sign-offs from governors on the border that it is secure before triggering other changes to the immigration system. No one will know better than the governors when their borders are secure.” Alexander said this amendment will help ensure the borders are secured and certified “by someone the American people can trust.” As currently written, the bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to certify that it has established and demonstrated operational control of the entire U.S. - Mexico border once certain conditions are met. Those conditions include the hiring and training of 20,000 Border Patrol agents, 300 miles of vehicle barriers, 105 radar and camera towers and 31,500 detention beds. Without that certification that the border is secure, other changes to the immigration system contained in the bill could not go into effect. Alexander’s amendment would build on those border security provisions by also asking the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to weigh in on whether these conditions have been met and that all illegal entries into the United States are being prevented. “The borders are not secure, and the current system is not working,” Alexander said. “Involving the southern border governors is the only way to be sure we have plugged the gaps that today allow a million immigrants to come here illegally each year.” # # #