On October 26, 2006, President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and his remarks were released by the White House. President Bush said he is pleased with the signing of the Act: “This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.”

Earlier this year, Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office and laid out a strategy for immigration reform to begin with securing the U.S. border. Since Bush took office, the U.S. has “more than doubled funding for border security – from $4.6 billion in 2001 to $10.4 billion this year. We've increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 9,000 to more than 12,000, and by the end of 2008, we will have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents during my presidency.” Border security has involved the deployment of National Guard members to assist Border Patrol and the upgrade of technology at the borders. The U.S. has added new fencing and vehicle barriers as well as increased the number of new beds at the detention facilities. Bush stated, “During the course of my administration we have apprehended and sent home more [than] 6 million people entering our country illegally. And I thank the Border Patrol for their hard work.”

Bush anticipates the Secure Fence Act will build on this progress. The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border, more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to help prevent people from entering the U.S. illegally. The bill authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to increase the use of advanced technology such as cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce the infrastructure at the border. Bush said, “We have more to do.”