Amid the ongoing legal and political controversies surrounding the Arizona immigration law, the Federal government has sent a strong signal that is meant to silence the measure’s supporters.
On July 28—just one day before the new law went into effect, albeit with several provisions struck down at the last minute—the House of Representatives passed a $701 million Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Sponsored by Representatives Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and David Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, the bill includes money for 1,200 additional Border Patrol agents as well as 500 more Customs and Border Protection officers, The Tucson Sentinel reports.
The funding will also cover several permanent Border Patrol forward operating bases, improved tactical communications and two additional unmanned aircraft systems. Millions in further support will also be provided for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to hire more Alcohol, Tobacco and Fireamrs, Drug Enforcement Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.
After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “this legislation honors our first responsibility to protect the American people by giving law enforcement the tools they need to address the threat of violence near the United States-Mexico border.”
The bill even met with cautious approval from the spokesman for Jesse Kelly, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Congress from the 8th Congressional district of Arizona this November. John Ellinwood told The Sentinel that "whatever [Congress] can do to get the border secure is great.”