Border control is floundering

Mexican Border Fence

The Federal Government Accounting Office (GAO), Congress’s watchdog, has issued a report on the effort to secure the Mexican border under the Homeland Security Initiative. To put it plainly, it ain’t pretty.

  • The installation of technology and fences is years behind schedule.
  • The estimated completion date has slipped from 2009 to 2016.
  • 28 miles of fencing in Texas is delayed by lawsuits from landowners.
  • Cameras and radars that have been installed so far are plagued with weather and mechanical problems.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has not set up a way to evaluate the impact of the fence.

The New York Times reported on this GAO report on September 17. It quotes Department of Homeland Security spokesmen as being as frustrated as anyone is with the setbacks, and believing the system will eventually prove successful.

Not mentioned in this article is the impact that the increased numbers of Border Patrol Officers may be having. Remember that besides the fencing and technological tools authorized to be installed along the border with Mexico, additional Border Patrol Officers were also authorized.

So, a project slated to be completed by the end of this year has slipped 7 years. In the meantime, no one seems to have a handle on what the impact has been of the $ 2.4 billion spent on this project to date. Apprehensions along the border are down, and that could be at least partly due to the increased border security in place so far. Of course, the sinking economy and shrinking farm and day labor jobs in the USA is undoubtedly also having an impact on the numbers seeking to come to the country from Mexico and points beyond.

To summarize, the border security project is way behind schedule, no one knows to what extent it is working or not working and it will be 2016 before it may be finished. This project may take as long as the Iraq and Afghan wars and, like those military efforts, eventually come to a finish with no one really certain of what happened! Ah, change you can believe in.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.