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Taking a hard look at the much-hyped border fence legislation approved by Congress last week, the Washington Post found that it may not result in the construction of 700-miles of new barriers as promised.

The Post reports that the legislation, touted by many Republicans as one of Congress’ most significant accomplishments this year, is much weaker than its proponents have advertised.

It turns out Congress left the decision of how much fence to build, where to build it and how to spend the associated $1.2 billion in funding in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security. Both President Bush and DHS officials have advocated adding only 350 miles of new fencing to the border and favor using technology to create a virtual fence along the remaining gaps.

A last minute effort to save the bill from failure also gives state and local officials say over where any new fencing is built. Interestingly enough, that doesn’t apply to a section of border east of San Diego.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, was so inflamed by the article that he’s called a press conference at the border for later this afternoon to refute the ideas that the fence could be stalled by political opposition and that the legislation provides a large degree of flexibility.

For more on the local border fence issue click here.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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