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    Friday, June 16, 2006

    United States Senate Bill Funds Defense of Mexico's Southern Border

    The Mexican government may be receiving help from the United States with the defense of their southern border. Senate Bill S. 2611, which I have also seen referred to as the "Hagel-Martinez" bill, provides for "improving the security of Mexico's southern border".

    I find this odd considering that the Federal Government can't seem to find the time of the money to defend the U.S./Mexico border. Upon closer inspection, the bill, if agreed to by the House and the President, will actually be providing direct funding to Guatemala and Belize in order to strengthen the borders between Mexico and Guatemala and between Mexico and Belize. This provision can be found in S. 2611, Title I, Subtitle B, Section 114. I have included the text below:


    (a) Technical Assistance- The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary, shall work to cooperate with the head of Foreign Affairs Canada and the appropriate officials of the Government of Mexico to establish a program--

    (1) to assess the specific needs of Guatemala and Belize in maintaining the security of the international borders of such countries;

    (2) to use the assessment made under paragraph (1) to determine the financial and technical support needed by Guatemala and Belize from Canada, Mexico, and the United States to meet such needs;

    (3) to provide technical assistance to Guatemala and Belize to promote issuance of secure passports and travel documents by such countries; and

    (4) to encourage Guatemala and Belize--

    (A) to control alien smuggling and trafficking;

    (B) to prevent the use and manufacture of fraudulent travel documents; and

    (C) to share relevant information with Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

    (b) Border Security for Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico- The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall work to cooperate--

    (1) with the appropriate officials of the Government of Guatemala and the Government of Belize to provide law enforcement assistance to Guatemala and Belize that specifically addresses immigration issues to increase the ability of the Government of Guatemala to dismantle human smuggling organizations and gain additional control over the international border between Guatemala and Belize; and

    (2) with the appropriate officials of the Government of Belize, the Government of Guatemala, the Government of Mexico, and the governments of neighboring contiguous countries to establish a program to provide needed equipment, technical assistance, and vehicles to manage, regulate, and patrol the international borders between Mexico and Guatemala and between Mexico and Belize.

    (c) Tracking Central American Gangs- The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall work to cooperate with the appropriate officials of the Government of Mexico, the Government of Guatemala, the Government of Belize, and the governments of other Central American countries--

    (1) to assess the direct and indirect impact on the United States and Central America of deporting violent criminal aliens;

    (2) to establish a program and database to track individuals involved in Central American gang activities;

    (3) to develop a mechanism that is acceptable to the governments of Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, and other appropriate countries to notify such a government if an individual suspected of gang activity will be deported to that country prior to the deportation and to provide support for the reintegration of such deportees into that country; and

    (4) to develop an agreement to share all relevant information related to individuals connected with Central American gangs.

    (d) Limitations on Assistance- Any funds made available to carry out this section shall be subject to the limitations contained in section 551 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-102; 119 Stat. 2218).(1) [emphasis added]

    The vote occured on May 25, 2006, 05:39 PM. Here are how the senators voted (I suggest that we ask those voting "yea" why they thought providing border security aid to Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize was a good idea):
    YEAs ---62NAYs ---36Not Voting - 2
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Chafee (R-RI)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Dayton (D-MN)
    DeWine (R-OH)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Frist (R-TN)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Jeffords (I-VT)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Lieberman (D-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Sarbanes (D-MD)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Wyden (D-OR)
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Allen (R-VA)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burns (R-MT)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Lott (R-MS)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Santorum (R-PA)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Talent (R-MO)
    Thomas (R-WY)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Salazar (D-CO)

    Vote Result: Bill Passed.(2)

    (1) S. 2611, 109th Cong. § 114 (2006).
    (2) U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Cong. -- 2nd Sess. On Passage of the Bill (S. 2611 As Amended), May 25, 2006, 05:39 PM,

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