While considering the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, I joined with four of my colleagues to offer an amendment that would have appropriated funds to build the 854 mile, double-layered fence along America's southern border.

Despite enactment of the Secure Fence Act in October 2006, only 13 miles of new fencing have actually been constructed. This is unacceptable, and many American citizens understandably have expressed concern and outrage at the current scenario. Last year, over 96,000 people from countries other than Mexico crossed our Southern border illegally, and over 4,000 people continue to cross our southern border illegally each and every day.

Our amendment would have mandated that the Department of Homeland Security dedicate the necessary resources and manpower to the construction of the 854 miles of border fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act, as well as striking the poison pills included in the legislation put there to delay the construction of tactical border fencing. Specifically, it would restrict $1 billion of the funds already appropriated to the construction of fencing and roads as prescribed by the Secure Fence Act.

It is absolutely true, and crucial to our national security, that we must defeat terrorists on the battlefield. But as long as our own southern border remains one of our country's largest security vulnerabilities, and as long as my Democratic colleagues continue to vote against securing our porous domestic border, we will be left with no answer to our children if and when they are made to endure another massive terrorist attack.