Spencer responds to Giffords
July 21, 2009
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords told the Sierra Vista Herald that “One solid fence is as good as a double fence, except in some urban areas, Giffords said.”
She was talking about the border fence.
While I disagree with Giffords on the basic premise that a single “solid” fence is as good as a double fence, she must understand that most of what DHS has constructed along the border is not a “solid fence.”
The longest section of fence in Giffords’ Arizona district runs from the Huachuca Mountains to east of Douglas - about 42 miles. Most of this fencing is either old 10-ft mat type, or a 13-ft mesh type. Both types are easily climbed or cut through, as ranchers Ladd and Odle report and as the Campo Minutemen have reported.
Would Giffords suggest that we tear out all of this fencing with new “solid fencing”? That would be almost as expensive as building a new fence parallel to the old one. What should be done is what was done in San Diego.
When the first airfield type mat fencing installed along the border south of San Diego was found to be ineffective, it was not replaced - it was augmented with a second layer of fencing. The same thing should be done with the border fencing now in place. A second layer should be added paralleling what has already been built. Then all of the existing vehicle barriers should be replaced with double-layered fencing.
Congress passed and the President signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. In December of 2007 Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson sponsored an amendment to an omnibus spending bill that gave DHS discretion over what was to be built.
The result was that DHS built only 35 miles of double fencing and about 230 miles of single layered fencing- far short of the demands of congress, and even Sen. Hutchinson’s demand that 370 miles of fence be completed.
When Sen. DeMint included an amendment in DHS’s funding bill for FY 2010 that called for the original 700 miles of double-layered fencing to be built, Hutchinson voted for it.
I rest my case.