We are undoubtedly a safer nation due to the actions of the Republican led 109th Congress. This Congress passed numerous bills that will help secure our nation from future terrorist attacks as well as legislation to end the flow of illegal aliens across our border. This Congress reauthorized the PATRIOT Act, a key piece of legislation initially drafted after the 9/11 attacks to allow for greater communication among our intelligence community and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and reaffirmed their ability to conduct terrorist surveillance, while also updating our laws to adapt to new technologies. Make no mistake, the fact that we have not experienced an attack on American soil is not due to the lack of effort from the terrorists. It is because of Congress and the Administration’s policies to protect Americans and fight terrorism.

Illegal immigration and national security are inextricably linked, and the possibility of terrorists infiltrating our country undetected across our borders is far too real. The 109th Congress passed several bills now signed into law which are critical in protecting our homeland. The Secure Fence Act authorizes the construction of 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing along the southwest border and was recently signed into law as was the FY 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report which appropriates $2.77 billion to add new border patrol agents and $1.2 billion for border fencing and state of the art surveillance equipment to maintain operational control of our borders. Also signed into law was the Border Tunnel Prevention Act which criminalizes border tunnel construction and carries penalties of 20 years in prison for creating or financing a tunnel.

The House of Representatives passed additional bills dealing with illegal immigration such as a bill to end the “catch and release