Congressman J. Gresham Barrett doesn’t come from a state that’s anywhere close to the border with Mexico. He comes from South Carolina, not Arizona. Still, that hasn’t stopped Representative Barrett from sticking his nose into the Southwestern issue of border enforcement.
You see, in a larger sense, Barrett does feel that the issue of border security is one that affects his constituents particularly. Barrett’s constituents in the 3rd congressional district of South Carolina feel particularly uptight when it comes to the idea of foreigners, and so Barrett has tried to establish himself as a specialist in anti-foreigner affairs.
As part of this campaign, Congressman Barrett introduced the Complete the Fence Act, H.R. 3236, into the U.S. House of Representatives a month ago today. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to complete 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico by the end of December next year. This 700 miles would have to be actual fence too, not just vehicle barriers or virtual fencing of the sort that would avoid problems with isolating populations of endangered species of wildlife that live in the border area.
So, how is the Complete the Fence Act doing? In real terms, it’s been a failure. J. Gresham Barrett has failed to get even one cosponsor for the bill. Significantly, no member of Congress from a border state has shown any support for the legislation.
In political terms, however, the Complete the Fence Act may have played its role successfully. In spite of the bill’s legislative failure, Representative Barrett can tell constituents back home all about it, to show them that he’s working hard to protect them from the dirty, stinking foreigners.