Border Security: Fences Along the U.S. International Border [Updated January 11, 2006] [open pdf - 49KB]
"At the end of the first session of the 109th Congress, the House passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437), which contains language that would require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to construct at least two layers of reinforced fencing along much of the nation's southwest international land border. Earlier, the 109th Congress passed provisions to facilitate the completion of a three-tiered, 14-mile fence, along the border near San Diego in the REAL ID Act of 2005 (H.R. 418), which was subsequently added to H.R. 1268, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, and signed into law on May 11, 2005 (P.L. 109-13). The new provisions allow the Secretary of DHS to waive all legal requirements determined necessary to ensure expeditious construction of authorized barriers and roads. In September of 2005, the Secretary announced that he was using this authority to waive a number of mostly environmental and conservation laws. This report outlines the issues involved with DHS's completion of the San Diego border fence and highlights some of the major legislative and administrative developments regarding the construction of new border fences. This report will be updated as warranted."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22026