Joe Biden once argued a fence was needed to stop “tons” of drugs coming into the country from “corrupt Mexico.”
He also spoke about jailing employers who hire “illegals,” said sanctuary cities shouldn’t be allowed to violate federal law.
Speaking to a South Carolina rotary club in November 2006, Biden touted his support for the Secure Fence Act — a bill that authorized 700 miles of double-layered fence on the border through more than a billion dollars in appropriations. The bill was also supported by then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,” Biden told the group. “But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and — punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals. Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing.”
“Now, I know I’m not supposed to say it that bluntly, but they’re the facts, they’re the facts. And so everything else we do is in between here. Everything else we do is at the margins. And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs,” Biden continued. “And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico.”
Then-Senator Obama said, speaking on the bill during a floor speech in September of 2006:“The bill before us will certainly do some good. It will authorize some badly needed funding for better fences and better security along our borders, and that should help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country,”
Obama supported the bill, along with 25 other Democrats in the Senate and 138 Democrats in the House.
“We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against [the wall]. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Senator Obama voted for it. Senator Schumer voted for it. Senator Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in 2017
Trump is correct that, in past decades, Democrats have been enthusiastic in their support for increased border security. The first border wall between San Diego and Tijuana went up under President Bill Clinton. In 2011, then-President Obama noted proudly that, under his presidency, Customs and Border Patrol had more agents than ever before: “We have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible,” he said. “We now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents—more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a build-up that began under President Bush and that we have continued.”
It’s amazing that Democrats, once in favor of border barriers, only started opposing the wall once president Trump got in office.
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