In 2006 Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, which mandated the construction of multilayer pedestrian fencing along about 600 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. It passed with big, bipartisan majorities: 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. Some top Democrats who are still in the Senate today supported the fence: Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Ron Wyden, Debbie Stabenow, and Sherrod Brown.Just the next year, Congress made clear it didn’t really mean what it said. The new law was amended to make fence building optional.In 2013, Congress got back into the fence game. The Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill included something called the “Southern Border Fencing Strategy.” It called for 700 miles of at least single-layer pedestrian fencing along the border. It wasn’t a standalone measure; the fence was to be part of a broader package of border security measures alongside provisions that would create a process by which the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants would ultimately gain a path to citizenship.