Authored by Zachary Volkert | January 30, 2017
URL of the original posting site: http://www.inquisitr.com/3926780/bill-clinton-mexico-border-barriers-and-george-w-bush-secure-fence-act-supported-by-obama-and-hillary-predate-trumps-wall-by-decades/
Donald Trump is far from the first president to advocate a physical barrier with Mexico. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, with the Border Fence Act, undertook such projects during their respective presidencies, and both won the support of many key Democrats — including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As of now, nearly 700 miles of such fencing already exist along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“Since 1992, we have increased our Border Control by over 35 percent; deployed underground sensors, infrared night scopes, and encrypted radios; built miles of new fences; and installed massive amounts of new lighting.”
“In addition to greater border security, we also need greater sanctions on employers who hire illegally in this country… to make it easier for those employers to identify who is eligible to work… and we need a plan to deal with the 12 million undocumented immigrants who are already here, many of whom have woven themselves into the fabric of our society.”
After approval, the George W. Bush fence with Mexico continued under the presidency of Barack Obama. In 2011, the Democratic president claimed that the Border Fence Act had reached completion, but Politifact rated the statement as “mostly false.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had later asked to modify the mandate for double fencing to include other less imposing structures in places it deemed less threatening along the border.
This modification is an important one when it comes to Trump’s recent executive order. With Bill Clinton and Bush already having laid down border fences, the DHS may be inclined to simply accept some of these structures as they stand. While the president previously promised that it would be 50 feet high and made of concrete, he only outlined that it be “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier” in the recent executive order. Furthermore, the action gives the power to the secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, to report on what the best way to move forward with the structure is, leaving ample room for alterations.
Of course, there are several key difference between the Clinton and Bush fences with Mexico and the one proposed by Donald Trump. First of all, both of these presidents sought to fund the project through U.S. money. There was no promise to infringe on another country’s sovereignty by forcing them to pay for the structure, and thus, it caused nowhere near the diplomatic rift that the Trump wall has. Since the fallout, Trump has indicated that the wall may be paid for through a 20 percent tax on imports.
[Featured Image by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]