BUSH ADMINISTRATION STILL MISSING DEADLINE FOR PROMISED FIRST 70 MILES OF PHYSICAL BORDER FENCING
PHOENIX, AZ—Another week has passed since the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) first challenged the Bush Administration to prove it is on schedule for the construction of the initial span of physical border fencing that President Bush promised would be completed by September 30, 2007. On May 30, 2006, President Bush promised the completion of 70 miles by his self-imposed deadline, but less than 20 miles of fencing has been constructed, and to stay on track, a crash building schedule of more than 10 miles of fence per week is now required before the President’s September deadline expires.
“The Bush Administration needs to get serious and stop playing politics; the money should be immediately dedicated to building the Minuteman-style double-layered, doable model, rather than wasted on unproven ‘virtual’ fencing,” states Chris Simcox, MCDC Founder and President. “The American people would be better served if the Secure Fencing Act was implemented without any more Washington games-playing, Potomac two-stepping—or wasteful defense industry ‘technology development’ boondoggle contracts.”
To date, barely 20 miles stands of the promised 70 miles of physical border fence by the President’s self-imposed deadline of September 30, 2007, even after $1.9 Billion was appropriated for fence construction as well as for the compensation of 6,000 National Guard troops. The agencies in charge are now asking already over-burdened U.S. Border Patrol agents to volunteer their time in order to build fencing—which was originally a task relegated to members of the National Guard troops, so that Border Patrol agents could concentrate man-hours on border enforcement and apprehensions. Half of the National Guard troops are now being removed from border deployment and reassigned.
Unlike the U.S. government, the Minutemen have sustained border security as their top priority, and continue to implement a plan to reduce incursions that is more than just “virtual” and has garnered impressive results. Along with their border watches, it includes an effective material barrier—achieved by volunteering their time, energy and personal funds in order to build highly effective demonstration security fencing spans on private ranch land, expensed through private donations obtained from thousands of citizens nationally. To provide a doable model of fencing, educate the public and force federal government attention to the realities of border security, Minuteman volunteers have taken steps to build this fence along the border which will utilize state of the art technology with the fiber optic mesh produced by FOMGuard, USA, also currently in use on U.S. military installations, the DMZ in Korea and the West Bank in Israel, and recently featured in National Geographic magazine.
The Minuteman message of “border security first” has further provided a growing impetus for the creation of 92 MCDC nationally-sponsored chapters, organized at the state and local levels. MCDC has been stalwart in advocating that border security be implemented immediately with funds already allocated to the Department of Homeland Security’s treasury through the 2006 Secure Fence Act, and with the placement of 20,000 National Guard troops stationed on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Simcox continues, “If the administration truly wants the American people to believe it understands the importance of border security first, then they are doing a terrible job of selling it to the public. We need a real fence—and President Bush promised the 70-mile start of it by September. The Minutemen are watching their progress day-by-day; but we are not waiting on the feds.”