Chertoff vs. Hunter
Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff says Rep. Duncan Hunter is “not right” in his claims that the Bush administration is stalling the development of a security fence along the U.S.Mexico border.
During the Republican presidential debate two weeks ago, Mr. Hunter, California Republican, said, “I wrote the bill that the president signed in October that takes the San Diego fence 854 miles across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and it’s mandatory. I called up the other day, and they’ve done two miles of border fence. This administration has a case of the slows on border enforcement.”
“He’s not right,” Mr. Chertoff said in response May 20 during an appearance on CNN’s “Late Edition.” “Basically, we will have 150 miles of fence built by the end of September. What Congressman Hunter’s not telling the public is, the way you build fence is you don’t build one mile and then build another mile.”
“I’ve been there. I’ve seen miles of fence that have gone up in the last year. We’re committed to getting 150 miles done by the end of September, and it will be done.”
Mr. Hunter’s bill calls for the hiring of 6,000 new border patrol agents and 370 miles of border fencing, Mr. Chertoff said.
“We’re at 150 miles by the end of this coming September. We will be at 370 miles by the end of calendar year 2008,” Mr. Chertoff said.