A Weekly e-Newsletter from Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Date: 2006-09-22

A Weekly e-Newsletter from
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

September 22, 2006

Dear Friends,

This week, the Senate debated legislation that would authorize up to 700 miles of double-layered fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.  On Wednesday, I renewed my call on the Senate floor to secure the border by using a supplemental spending bill to fully fund the manpower and technology necessary to do so.  An authorization is a promise, and an appropriation is a commitment.  It is time that this Senate and the House made a commitment and made border security a reality.  I also continued to urge my colleagues in the Senate to recognize the critical importance of my “border-security-first” approach to immigration reform. During debate in the Senate on immigration reform earlier this year, I introduced a trigger amendment that would have prohibited the implementation of any program granting legal status to those who have entered the country illegally until the Secretary of Homeland Security has certified to the President and to the Congress that the border security provisions in the immigration legislation are fully funded and operational.  Unfortunately, the Senate defeated the amendment on May 16 by a vote of 40 yeas to 55 nays.  It is time we return to a pathway to citizenship that is legal. It is time we stop looking the other way. It is time we secure our border.  It is time we stop making promises. It is time we start delivering. America is too important. This issue is too critical to the American people.

I join with most Americans in being appalled at the remarks against our country and our president that were made this week by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the United Nations.  In his comments, Chavez referred to President Bush as “the devil” and made unsubstantiated claims that the United States has set in motion a coup in Venezuela.  Therefore, today I co-sponsored a Senate resolution denouncing Chavez’s remarks and his harmful, destructive and anti-democratic actions.  Chavez demonstrated that there will always be leaders who will attempt to destroy free and democratic countries.  I’m so proud of our president, our country and especially our men and women in the armed forces. It is important now more than ever that we continue our efforts against terrorism and fight for freedom around the world. 

Also this week, Congressman Gingrey and I nominated Georgia resident Faith Allen as a 2006 Angel in Adoption for her outstanding contributions toward the welfare of children in the United States foster care system and orphans around the globe.  Faith Allen, who adopted her daughter Masha in 2005, was honored on Wednesday night at the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute’s Annual Angels in Adoption™ Gala in Washington, D.C.  Faith Allen is a truly amazing woman who embodies the spirit of the Angels in Adoptions program.  In 1998, 5-year-old Masha was adopted from a Russian orphanage by Matthew Mancuso, who abused Masha and distributed sexually explicit pictures of her over the Internet.  Law enforcement officials were able to track, arrest and convict Mancuso, and Masha was placed under the emergency foster care of Ms. Allen.  Last year, she adopted Masha.  Masha’s story is heartbreaking, but it is also hopeful for orphans everywhere.  After a lifetime of unimaginable hardships, Masha now has a safe home filled with compassion and love thanks to her Angel in Adoption, Faith Allen.  Congressman Gingrey and I nominated Ms. Allen for the Angels in Adoption award after working with her and her daughter to introduce legislation, also known as Masha’s Law, that dramatically increases penalties for anyone who downloads child pornography off the Internet.  Provisions of this legislation were included in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President Bush on July 27, 2006. The Angels in Adoption™ program is the signature public awareness program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, which provides an opportunity to all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and internationally.

What’s on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will continue work on H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act. 

Johnny Isakson


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