July 8, 2009
by Andrew Taylor
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Wednesday to require actual fencing along 700 miles of the border with Mexico rather than vehicle barriers and high-tech equipment.
The plan by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., won approval by a 54-44 vote as the Senate began a second day of debate on a $42.9 billion measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.
DeMint said the U.S.-Mexico border "has become a battleground" as drug and weapons traffickers, along with illegal immigrants, move too freely. He said the department is spending too much on "virtual" fencing such as motion detectors. Those barriers, he said, don't work as well as a real fence designed to block people crossing the border on foot.