Instead of a real fence, Congress is building a virtual border fence across most of the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats in Congress were afraid a real fence might send the message that we don't want illegal migrants sneaking across our border. The new virtual fence is being built by primary contractor the Boeing Co. The cost is estimated to be about $6.7 billion by 2014. There is only one small problem. It doesn't work. The Border Patrol was barely consulted. According to AP via KTVU.com:
A prototype virtual fence strung across 28 miles of the southern Arizona border has been in use since late 2007.
The Government Accountability Office told Congress last year the prototype fence did not fully meet expectations and its design wouldn't be used as the basis for future developments. It is still operating, though, and its portable towers will be used in test scenarios elsewhere.
"I am hopeful that the department and its contractors have learned from previous failed attempts and will apply those lessons to the deployment (of the new system). We will be watching closely until SBInet is complete," Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a critic of the initial virtual fence efforts, said via e-mail Thursday.
The decision to move forward with construction was met with caution by a border security advocacy group.
"They've spent a lot of money and time on one (virtual fence) that didn't work very well, so there's reason to be skeptical," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He said the high-tech devices aren't a substitute for the promised actual fencing.
What happened to building an actual fence? Would you put a virtual fence around your property to keep intruders out?