Letter from Senator Feinstein (CA) in response to receiving a letter from the NCTPP's own Sue McGuire:
Thank you for writing to share your support for building a wall along the southwest border of the United States. I appreciate the time you took to write, and I apologize for the delay in my response.
I strongly agree with you that the federal government should meet its responsibility to secure our borders. In the 111th Congress, I cosponsored legislation that was signed into law in August 2010 to provide $600 million in emergency funding for the deployment of 1,500 new Border Patrol personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, I introduced the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-127), which was signed into law in May, 2012. This law helps combat illegal tunnels on the southwest border by providing law enforcement and prosecutors additional tools to locate tunnels, identify criminals, and punish those involved in illegal activity.
You may also be interested to know that I supported the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform legislation, known as the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744), which was very strong on border security. It would have provided an unprecedented $46 billion for border security, required the deployment of 38,405 trained, full-time border agents, and mandated the completion of at least 700 miles of pedestrian fencing along the southwest border. Undocumented immigrants would not have been able to adjust to legal permanent resident status until these measures were in place. Unfortunately, S. 744 did not pass before the 113th Congress adjourned.
At the same time, I have serious concerns about President Trump’s plans to construct a wall along the entire southern border of the U.S. While I support smart and tough policies to effectively secure our borders, I do not believe diverting billions of dollars away from tax payers, law enforcement, and national security programs is the right approach.
You might be interested to know that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report stating that it is unclear if fencing that already exists along the U.S.-Mexico border has been effective. The report mentions that the section of the border where there is currently 654 miles of fencing was breached more than 9,200 times between 2010 and 2015. Also, various estimates state that the border wall could cost $16 million per mile to construct. The GAO’s complete report can be found at the link below:
On March 23, 2018, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-141), which provides over $1.5 billion in funding for border wall construction and improvements along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 into law on March 23, 2018.
While we may have to agree to disagree on this issue, I appreciate hearing your views. Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov. You can also follow me online at YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at feinstein.senate.gov/newsletter.
United States Senator