$1 Billion Later, Feds Give Up on High-Tech Border Fence

22 Oct

It sounded good: build a high-tech array of cameras, sensors, and other gear to monitor the Mexico-US border. Boeing, the contractor the federal government hired to build the ‘virtual fence’, promised it would be a cheaper and more efficient way to catch smugglers and illegal immigrants than flooding the zone with Border Patrol agents. But three years later, the government is conceding what critics predicted all along: the thing doesn’t work. They’re defunding the project. As the LA Times reports, “the result, after an investment of more than $1 billion, may be a system with only 53 miles of unreliable coverage along the nearly 2,000-mile border.”

When the border project was just getting going,  I wrote this piece in Mother Jones headlined: “A proposed $2 billion high-tech fence on the U.S.-Mexico border is likely to be virtually useless.” Maybe the Department of Homeland Security oughtta subscribe.

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