The Senate passed and sent to President Bush a bill authorizing 700 new miles of fencing on the southern border. No one knows how much it will cost, but a separate bill also on the way to the White House makes a $1.2 billion down payment on it. A 14-mile segment of fence under construction in San Diego is costing $126.5 million.
The fence bill was passed by the House two weeks ago. The Senate vote on it Friday night was 80-19.
In addition to money for starting work on the fence, a homeland security bill passed Friday by the House and later by the Senate includes $380 million to hire 1,500 more Border Patrol agents and money to build detention facilities to hold 6,700 more illegal immigrants until they can be deported.
Flashback: The Fence