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US Republicans propose Mexican border wall to combat illegal immigration

[JURIST] Republican legislators have proposed a bill to build a 2,000 mile wall at the border between US and Mexico in order to keep illegal immigrants out. The True Enforcement and Border Security Act [bill summary] also calls for thousands of new border patrol officers, immigration investigators, immigration judges, and attorneys, according to a joint statement [text] released by US Representatives Virgil Goode (R-VA) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) [official websites]. It is not yet certain whether the fence-building legislation will receive enough backing to pass in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate. The proposal comes the day after US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff outlined plans to increase security [JURIST report] along US borders. Chertoff's plan [fact sheet] includes the construction of a 14-mile wall near San Diego and the hiring of more federal agents. Additionally, a group of Republican lawmakers who want to end the constitutional right of birthright citizenship, or jus soli [Wikipedia backgrounder], are researching whether it can be done by a congressional statute or if it would require a constitutional amendment. An amendment would be more difficult to attain since approval by three-fourths of the US states is necessary. AFP has more.

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