Saturday, November 3, 2012

Flashback:What ever happened to the virtual border fence?

US Customs and Border Protection

The short answer is President Barack Obama cancelled it. In a 2008 questionnaire, Obama claimed he supported the virtual fence, but DHS Janet Napolitano froze construction in 2010 and diverted funds to other projects.

The building of a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border has come to a virtual halt -- by order of the Obama administration.

The Department of Homeland Security, citing delays and cost overruns for the project, has decided to shift $50 million in economic stimulus funds set aside for the "fence," to other purposes related to border security.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she would freeze work on the five-year plan to mount sensors and other surveillance gear along stretches of the 2,000-mile border. Two pilot projects in Arizona will apparently remain in place and actual fencing along several hundred miles of border will also stay.
Early in 2011, the project was declared dead. 
The dream of a high-tech barrier stretching from one end of America’s southern border to the other – originally hailed by then-President George W. Bush as “the most technically advanced border security initiative” ever – is officially burst.
In announcing that it would pull the plug on the troubled “virtual fence” project, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Friday it would instead pursue a region-by-region approach, with different parts of the US border protected in different ways as dictated by terrain and other area-specific conditions.
The virtual fence was a compromise by President Bush. Conservatives and many Republicans along the border wanted a real fence. After all, fences make good neighbors. Democrats didn't want anything. They support illegal immigration.  Fence detractors claimed a real fence would damage the environment and offend Mexicans. The virtual fence was an attempt to compromise by applying a technological solution to an age-old problem. The project was awarded to Boeing, but cost overruns were a serious problem.

So, what's Plan B? There is no Plan B. Barack Obama and Napolitano plan to leave the border wide open.

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