[More on Bush]
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — President Bush on Wednesday signed a homeland security bill that includes an overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $1.2 billion for fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem illegal immigration.
Standing before a mountainous backdrop in Arizona, a state that has been the center of much debate over secure borders, Bush signed into law a $35 billion homeland security spending bill that could bring hundreds of miles of fencing to the busiest illegal entry point on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Bush said enforcement alone will not stop illegal immigration, and urged Congress to pass his guest worker program to legally bring in new foreign workers and give some of the country's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants a shot at U.S. citizenship.
"The funds that Congress has appropriated are critical for our efforts to secure this border and enforce our laws, yet we must also recognize that enforcement alone is not going to work," Bush said at the bill-signing ceremony tucked into his three-day campaign fundraising trip to the West. "We need comprehensive reform that provides a legal way for people to work here on a temporary basis."
Among other things, Bush said the homeland security funding bill deploys nuclear detection equipment to points of entry, raises safety security standards at chemical plants, provides better tools to enforce immigration laws and provides vehicle barriers, lighting and infrared cameras to help catch illegals trying to cross the border.
"It's what the people in this country want," Bush said. "They want to know that we are modernizing the border so we can better secure the border."
Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has spent his six-year term lobbying for a new guest worker program and an amnesty for the millions of Mexicans working illegally in the United States, has called the barrier "shameful." He compares it to the Berlin Wall.
Some Democrats criticized the homeland security spending bill as too meager.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the homeland security spending bill does not improve screening of cargo carried on passenger planes, does not provide money to buy and install advanced explosive-detection equipment and does not include strong enough security requirements to protect against a terrorist attack on chemical plants.
"There are nightclubs in New York City that are harder to get into than some of our chemical plants," Markey said.
source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1151AP_Bush_Homeland_Security_Bill.html 4oct2006
Mexico — The eight parliamentary groups of the Congress of Mexico agreed Tuesday that the Deputy Chamber formally reject the construction of a border wall with the US, in the session of October 10.
A document agreed by all the legislators, backs up the demand of the Mexican executive for US President George W. Bush not to promulgate the resolution, which they say will not solve the migration problem.
The document reasserted its solidarity with the 6 million Mexicans living illegally in the US, since the Mexican executive regards them as workers in that country.
Last Friday, the US Senate approved the construction of a wall of 697.7 miles along the border with Mexico, regarded as an offense to Mexicans, who think it should be cancelled by Mexican President Vicente Fox.
The agreement of the Mexican Congress exhorts President Fox to strengthen diplomatic measures and defend human and working rights of the people living and working in US territory.
source: http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BB8775018-8494-4521-8B5F-0E532D05121A%7D)&language=EN 4oct2006
Mexico — Political and social organizations continue criticizing both the US and the Fox government Monday, for the US Senate green light Friday to build a wall along the more than 621-mile border with Mexico.
The National Farmers Confederation termed the measure an affront that should not be tolerated by the government of President Vicente Fox, and is irrefutable evidence of Fox´s inability to achieve real migration reform due to his submissive behavior with Washington during his tenure.
Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez did criticize the White House decision, noting that it is not a friendly gesture, and assured that the government will continue striving to prevent the wall extending along the entire frontier.
However, information from Washington indicates that President George W. Bush will sign the bill, which he proposed, into law.
Meanwhile in a release, the National Human Rights Commission condemned the border barrier, warning it puts thousands of people´s right to life at risk.
That entity censured the US Legislature’s decision to not build a wall in only the most difficult-to-access, inhospitable and uninhabitable areas.
source: http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BA6C2ED03-10C2-4783-A26B-9D61E57DFA22%7D)&language=EN 4oct2006
MEXICO CITY— Mexico sought U.S. president George Bush to drop a plan to build a border fence between the two countries to check illegal immigration.
The U.S. Senate on Friday had given its final approval to a bill to construct some 700 miles of the fence with access roads, lighting, cameras and sensors, blocking five of the major crossing points along the 2000-mile border between the two countries. The fence would pass through parts of California, New Mexico and Texas.
The president is expected to sign the bill into law.
In a diplomatic note sent to the U.S. government Monday, the Mexican government said the fence would damage relations between the two countries. Mexican president Vicente Fox has been trying to come to terms with Washington on immigration and the decision on fencing the borders is a major setback for the president, who is completing his six-year term.
Mexico thinks its protest will have little impact as it is sure Bush will not veto the suggestion.
Bush had mooted creation of a guest-worker program, which would match workers with jobs Americans are unwilling to do. But, Republicans in the House of Representatives are keen on sealing the porous frontier.
Hundreds of Latin Americans, mostly Mexicans, die each year crossing the rivers and deserts separating the two countries. An estimated 1.2 million illegal immigrants were arrested in the last fiscal year trying to cross into the U.S. using the porous borders in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The Senate also approved the first $1.2 billion down payment for the construction of the fence, which experts say may cost around $9 billion.
Some U.S. experts, mostly former customs agents, have described the fence plan as impractical. The fence will have to pass through the Huachuca mountains and other ranges in Arizona, which are marked by bluffs and ravines where vehicles cannot be taken. The fencing will also try to bridge several creek beds along the Arizona-Sonora border, which are prone to flash floods.
source: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/9112.html 4oct2006