Many House and Senate Democrats voted to fund the same bollard-style fencing constructed by Presidents Bush and Obama that they now oppose under President Trump.
Ahead of a government shutdown, Trump is asking the Republican-controlled Congress for $5 billion in funding — just a fifth of the funding needed — to build what he continues to call a U.S.-Mexico “border wall,” though the barrier is almost identical to the bollard fencing erected by both Bush and Obama.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with their Democrat caucuses in the House and Senate, have objected to funding any barriers resembling a wall along the southern border.
Many of those same Democrats now opposing the funding of border barriers, once supported the use of fencing at the southern border less than a decade ago.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized the construction of 700 miles of the same style of bollard fence that Trump is building at the border, was supported by 26 Senate Democrats at the time. In the House, 64 Democrats joined 219 Republican lawmakers to fund the border fencing.
Those Democrats in support of funding the bollard border fencing included:
- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
- Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
- Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE)
- Then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
All 54 Senate Democrats, in 2013, voted again to commit funding to secure 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in the Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act which was authored and introduced by Schumer.
Though the border legislation never became law, the Democrat-backed plan would have authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement “a Southern Border Fencing Strategy to identify where 700 miles of fencing and technology should be deployed along the Southern border.”
As the New York Times has noted in a series of charts, almost 700 miles of barriers have been constructed at the southern border since 2006 with little-to-no objection from elected Democrats.
The Trump administration’s bollard fencing is more than 10 feet higher than those same fences constructed by the Bush and Obama administrations. Since his inauguration, Trump has replaced portions of existing border fences with this new 30-foot high bollard fence.
As these photographs show, the Calexico, California project was completed in October:
This same bollard-style fencing, between 18 to 30 feet high, was used by the Trump administration in June to begin replacing about 14 miles of existing fencing in San Diego, California. Similarly, in El Paso, Texas, the 18-foot bollard fencing is replacing chain link and metal fences.
In Santa Teresa, New Mexico, the Trump administration has constructed the 18 to 30-foot tall bollard fencing to replace existing fencing in the region.
Photographs captured below show the construction underway in April of this year:
The bollard fencing is nearly identical to the border project constructed by Obama and finished by Trump in Sunderland Park, New Mexico, seen here in these photographs:
The Obama bollard fencing was showcased in a short video by PBS called “Obama’s Border Fencing” where a Texas resident living on the border complained that the fencing had been constructed by DHS in her backyard.
Watch the video here to see a clip of the fence:
While House and Senate Democrats say they will risk a government shutdown to not fund border barriers under Trump, illegal immigration to the country has soared to record levels over the past two months.
In November 2018, there were close to 52,000 border crossings on the southern border, alone, marking the highest level of illegal immigration in the month of November since 2006.
The continuing rise of illegal immigration at the southern border indicates that Fiscal Year 2019 will see the biggest boom of illegal immigration in more than a decade, with more than 600,000 border crossings, according to Princeton Researcher Steven Kopits.
In October 2018, illegal immigration at the southern border soared to the highest level for a single month since April 2014. The month’s illegal immigration levels are almost exactly double what southwest border crossings were this same month in 2017.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.