Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About the Most Important Border Law? The Secure Fence Act of 2006 isn’t just about fences — it mandates that DHS prevent all illegal entries

By Andrew R. Arthur | Center for Immigration Studies

The Southwest border, which prior to January 2021 was in pretty good shape, is teetering on dissolution due largely to President Biden’s ham-handed rescission of nearly all of the policies his predecessor implemented to deter illegal migration there. States have sued (thus far, successfully) to block Biden from rescinding the most effective of those Trump policies, but for some reason neither they nor reviewing courts have paid attention to the most important border law — the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Background on the Secure Fence Act. Its title notwithstanding, the Secure Fence Act is not just about building fences at the border, although that is what it is best remembered for.

Rather, the fences and other infrastructure that the bill authorized and mandated were intended to be just a part of a regime to secure the nation’s borders, and in particular the Southwest border. That’s not to say that the Northern border was given short shrift, but the bill simply authorized a study of the need for and feasibility of erecting infrastructure along the 49th parallel, it did not mandate construction there.