Senate Votes to Fund Fence

Maybe I’m the only one who missed out on these machinations over the last few weeks, but it was news to me that in July, the Senate voted not to fund the construction of a fence at the Mexican border–after having voted to build such a fence in May. That reversal turned out to be highly unpopular with the Senators’ constituents, and yesterday the Senate voted 94-3, with no fewer than 66 members changing their votes, to appropriate nearly $2 billion for fence construction:

“I think people wanted to get right,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican. “People heard from their constituents after they voted to authorize the fence in May and then voted against funding it a couple of weeks ago.”

This episode shows, I think, two things: one, how committed most of the political establishment is to “comprehensive immigration reform” that doesn’t necessarily involve much in the way of border enforcement; and, two, how committed the American people are to an “enforcement first” approach to immigration reform.


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