Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann called into Glenn Beck’s radio program for a discussion about immigration reform legislation during which she urged Beck’s audience to call the Congressional switchboard and “melt the phones” with demands to their representatives to refuse to vote for any immigration bill.
Near the end of the interview, around the 10:30 mark, Bachmann grew animated as she declared that “we’re not putting up with any fake border security bill. We can’t trust the President to enforce the border and so we are not going to take up anything right now until you build us a fence. Build me the fence! Where’s my fence that I paid for in 2006? Gimmie my fence or give me my money back”:
Yeah, where is Michele’s fence? Let’s ask the Congressional Research Service (PDF):
Congress expressly authorized the construction and improvement of fencing and other barriers under Section 102(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA; P.L. 104-208, Div. C), which also required (pursuant to Section 102(b)) the completion of a triple-layered fence along the original 14 mile border segment near San Diego. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-367) amended IIRIRA Section 102(b) with a requirement for double-layered fencing along five segments of the Southwest border, totaling about 850 miles. IIRIRA was amended again by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2008 (P.L. 110-161). Under that amendment, the law now requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to construct reinforced fencing “along not less than 700 miles of the southwest border where fencing would be most practical and effective and provide for the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors to gain operational control of the southwest border.” The act further specifies, however, that the Secretary of Homeland Security is not required to install fencing “in a particular location along the international border of the United States if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location.”
As of January 15, 2013, DHS had installed 352 miles of primary pedestrian fencing, 299 miles of vehicle fencing (total of 651 miles), and 36 miles of secondary fencing (see Figure 4). The Border Patrol reportedly had identified a total of 653 miles of the border as appropriate for fencing and barriers.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 called for the construction of 700 miles of border fence and, according to CRS, 653 miles of fencing have been erected.
So Bachmann’s fence is more than 90% complete … but now she is demanding a refund?