U.S. Can’t Say Its ‘Virtual Fence’ Works
Posted by Joshua Price on February 29, 2008
Just when I thought we were making some progress on the illegal immigration front, we get the following news from The Washington Times:
The Department of Homeland Security spent $20 million on a “virtual fence” to better secure 28 miles of the Arizona-Mexican border but has no way to measure its effectiveness and never consulted with the field agents who will use the system before it was installed, two House subcommittees learned today.
During a hearing at which some members angrily challenged department officials to say how much it will cost to secure the entire border and when that effort will be completed, U.S. Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar acknowledged that the agency does not “have the means” to measure how many people are crossing illegally into the United States under the new system at the project site.
The virtual fence, which uses high-tech sensors, cameras and other equipment along a 28-mile stretch of U.S.-Mexico border near Sasabe, Ariz., has been highly touted by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and is known as “Project 28.”
Chief Aguilar also confirmed to a joint hearing of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on border, maritime and global counterterrorism and the subcommittee on management, investigations and oversight that the $20.6 million fixed-price contract given to Boeing Co. in September did not allow discussions with the field agents about how the system would best fit their needs — a “problem” he said needs to be fixed.
Check the rest of the article out here:
Now what’s interesting is that the story goes on to say:
Mr. Stana also told the subcommittees that Homeland Security’s goal of
building 370 miles of pedestrian fences and 300 miles of vehicle
barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year as part of the
multibillion-dollar SBI program to better secure the nation’s borders
may be challenging and more costly than planned.
You may remember that the Secure Border Initiative was a ploy to allay our fears and quiet our opposition to the McCain-Kennedy so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” that President Bush supported.
Well I knew we were right to oppose that on principle and with this news it proves that they would not have been able to keep their promises. We would have gotten amnesty and virtually no border security.