The Fence

Secure Fence Act (2006)

Bush Secure Fence Act

President George W. Bush signs off on the Secure Fence Act.

The Secure Fence Act was signed by George W. Bush on October 26, 2006 after significant public pressure to address illegal immigration, human smuggling, drug trafficking, and terrorism. In the wake of 9/11, Americans were extremely dissatisfied with the Bush administration's immigration policy. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Hispanic Center in May of 2006, 52% of Americans responded that they felt that immigrants were a burden on the country, 40% favored decreased legal immigration, 53% advocated for the deportation of illegal immigrants, and 62% disapproved of Bush's handling of immigration and his policy.

Five months after the poll was taken, the Secure Fence Act was signed, promising the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the 1,964 mile Mexican border. The act authorized not only the construction of a fence but also the implementation of vehicle barriers, checkpoints, and lighting to prevent illegal immigration. The act also authorized the Department of Homeland Security to employ technologies such as cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles so as to reinforce infrastructure at the border. The fence was constructed in the areas which saw the most concentrated traffic of migrants, including both urban and uninhabited spaces. Technology has also been utilized as a "virtual fence" to track migrant traffic in some of the unmarked areas.