Thursday, March 18, 2010

All in all it was all just bricks in the wall

Finally, a hint of sanity:

The Obama administration will halt new work on a "virtual fence" on the U.S.-Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday, diverting $50 million in planned economic stimulus funds for the project to other purposes.

Napolitano said the freeze on work beyond two pilot projects in Arizona was pending a broader reassessment. But the move signals a likely death knell for a troubled five-year plan to drape a chain of tower-mounted sensors and other surveillance gear across most of the 2,000-mile southern border. 

Obviously, high-tech border enforcement sounds great and therefore is politically popular.  How any reasonable person believed this would work as advertised is entirely beyond me.  As for the money ($3.4 billion so far), you have to love this:

SBInet is the federal government's third attempt to secure the border with technology. Between 1998 and 2005, it spent $429 million on earlier surveillance initiatives that were so unreliable that only 1 percent of alarms led to arrests. 

The money is just hair-raising.  The main barrier to illegal immigration is our recession while the fences--real or imagined virtual--should be viewed as a waste because they achieve very few real results. I almost had a heart attack when I read that Dick Armey agrees with me:

"Ronald Reagan said 'tear down this wall.' Tom Tancredo said, 'Build this wall,' " said Armey, referring to the Colorado Republican's support for a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. "America is not a nation that builds walls."


Chris Lawrence 8:56 PM  

In related news, Schumer and Graham have a new plan, suspiciously similar to the plans that were essentially DOA in 2006 and 2007.

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