The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
October 18, 2005

Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs Homeland Security Appropriations Act

     Fact sheet President Signs Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2006
     Fact sheet In Focus: Homeland Security

Today's Presidential Action:

Today, President Bush Signed The Department Of Homeland Security Appropriations Act Of Fiscal Year 2006 And Discussed Our Priorities In Defending The Homeland. We are tearing down the legal and bureaucratic wall that separated intelligence agents from law enforcement officers, and we have disrupted terrorist planning and financing. We have used the Patriot Act to break up terror cells and prosecute their operatives and supporters. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased the number of people guarding our borders, hardened security of the Nation's infrastructure, and helped give local and state law enforcement the tools they need to do their job.

Defending The Homeland By Improving Border Security

Enforcing Our Borders Is Key To America's Homeland Defense. When our borders are not secure, terrorists, drug dealers, and criminals find it easier to sneak into our country. The Administration has a clear strategy to address this problem. We are strengthening security along our borders, improving our ability to find and apprehend illegal immigrants who have crossed the border, and working to ensure that those caught are returned to their home countries as soon as possible.

More Needs To Be Done To Secure Our Borders. Despite these efforts, today we capture many more illegal immigrants than we can send home - especially non-Mexicans. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of bed space in detention facilities. When no bed space is available for a non-Mexican illegal immigrant, he or she is let go on a promise to return for a court appearance. However, many never show. Last year, we returned only 30,000 of the 160,000 non-Mexican illegal immigrants who crossed the southwest border. This bill will expand our reach and effectiveness in two important ways:

Because Enforcement Alone Will Not Work, The President Has Proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. If an employer has a job that no American will take, we need a way to fill that demand by matching willing employers with willing workers from a foreign country on a temporary and legal basis. The best way to fill that demand is with a temporary worker program that gives the workers we need a legal and honest way to come into our country - and return home. Worksite enforcement will be a critical part of any program, and this bill strengthens enforcement by adding new agents and doubling their resources. By reducing pressure on our border and offering a legal path for those willing to work, the Federal government can concentrate on apprehending those who violate our laws and pose the greatest risk to our security.

# # #

Return to this article at:

Click to print this document