Posted on December 9, 2004

Bill Would Nearly Double Border Patrol

Suzanne Gamboa, AP, Dec. 8

WASHINGTON — Congress’ intelligence overhaul provides the largest buildup in border guards in the nation’s history, but many House Republicans won’t be satisfied until states are forbidden from giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses that the lawmakers say enable terrorists to operate in the United States.

The legislation passed Wednesday and sent to President Bush nearly doubles the number of Border Patrol agents to 21,000 over the next five years. It adds 4,000 Immigration and Customs agents by 2010 and makes available 40,000 more detention beds for illegal aliens.

But to truly secure the nation, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said Congress needs to pass “real driver’s license reform.” He said the first bill he will introduce next year will provide those reforms.

“Real driver’s license reform will replace the Band-Aid approach that was passed last night,” he said.

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