WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement today lauding the decision by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to invoke the authority granted to him by Congress to continue construction of a vital security fence along the Arizona-Mexico border:
"In passing the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the Republican-led Congress couldn't have been clearer in demanding that our borders be secured right away and without condition, and that our immigration laws be finally, and rigorously, enforced.
"Unfortunately, the obvious intent of that legislation continues to be fought by a segment of judges from the bench and the majority of Democrats in Washington, D.C. - subverting the will of the American public, and slowing to a crawl the meager pace of progress that's come to characterize the fence's construction up until this point.
"Secretary Chertoff deserves credit for seizing upon the authority Congress granted his department to make sure this fence is built in a way that brings security to our border, and gives our federal agents a fighting chance of slowing the tide of illegal entry into our country. If the Democratic Congress won't do its part to secure our border, I'm more than comfortable with Secretary Chertoff stepping in to help us accomplish the goal."
NOTE: The authority utilized by Secretary Chertoff was granted under a provision included by the Republican majority in the REAL ID Act of 2005 (PL 109-13). If language in the House-passed FY2008 Homeland Appropriations bill were to become law, serious new restrictions would undermine the secretary's ability to expeditiously construct urgently needed sections of the border fence.
SOURCE Office of the Republican Whip