WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Trump's FY 2018 budget proposal to Congress includes just $1.6 billion for construction of new secure border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, less than 10 percent of the estimated price tag for the much-needed and long overdue border security infrastructure.
Secure border fencing was promised by Congress in legislation passed in 2007, but never funded. President Trump also made building a border wall a cornerstone pledge of his campaign, saying it was a necessary and permanent step to securing our nation's borders, a promise he appears to be going back on.
"We can only assume that President Trump has struck a secret deal with Mexico to get them to pay for the border fence he promised, because funding for the project sure isn't in the budget proposal he sent to Congress," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "After yielding to Democratic obstructionists on funding for the fence in order to ensure passage of the omnibus spending bill earlier this month, the president implied that he would fight to ensure that adequate funding was included in the FY 2018 budget. Nothing in this budget proposal suggests that he is fighting very hard.
"A secure fence along the southern border is an integral and necessary component of an effective strategy to control illegal immigration and safeguard our national security. As we have seen around the world, secure fencing is an effective way to control borders," noted Stein. "The cost of an effective border barrier is significant – about $20 billion, according to many estimates – which is only a fraction of the annual federal, state, and local costs we incur as a result of mass illegal immigration, which totals $113 billion."
"The key to regaining control of our immigration system is to effectively deter people who are contemplating breaking our laws and effective enforcement against those who do. Unfortunately, President Trump's budget requests do not demonstrate the resolve that is needed to fulfill the promises that he made to the American people," concluded Stein.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With more than 1.3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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