Skip to comments.Budget would halt growth of barrier on Mexican border
Posted on 05/08/2009 12:36:30 PM PDT by Red Steel
President Barack Obama's budget blueprint announced on Thursday canceled plans to extend the controversial barrier fence along the U.S.-Mexico border beyond the 670 miles already completed or planned, symbolically breaking with a much-heralded approach to border security advocated by then-President George W. Bush.
However, federal officials plan to start construction within weeks on a new "virtual fence" along the border. They say the "fence" could almost completely cover the nearly 2,000-mile frontier within five years.
The Obama administration's budget provides limited funds for roads, lights and so-called tactical infrastructure but not a dime to extend the pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers erected along roughly one-third of the nation's 1,947-mile border with Mexico.
The top financial officer at the Department of Homeland Security, Peggy Sherry, and her team said in a telephone conference call that the Obama administration would not extend the barrier network that has irked neighboring Mexico and stirred concerns among immigrant-advocate organizations.
As for the virtual fence, the first permanent towers holding sensors, cameras and communications gear to detect drug smugglers and illegal immigrants will be built along 53 miles of Arizona's border with Mexico, said Mark Borkowski, a Customs and Border Protection official in charge of the program.
More towers, as much as 120 feet tall and spaced miles apart, will follow on the remaining 320 miles of the state's southern border. Virtual fencing then will go up in New Mexico, followed by California and most of Texas, said Borkowski, executive director of the Homeland Security Department's Secure Border Initiative program.
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
Tear down the fence around the WH.
What ARE they spending the trillions on?
Our government does not want the borders secure.
There’s lots of conjecture as to why, I will leave that for you to decide.
Democrats nor Republicans have done squat.
President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint announced on Thursday canceled plans to extend the controversial barrier fence along the U.S.-Mexico border beyond the 670 miles already completed or planned, symbolically breaking with a much-heralded approach to border security advocated by then-President George W. Bush.
Now is this any surpirse? Cannot stop that voter army from flowing across the border, can we??? Gotta keep those welfare roles growing, the government-dependency class growing -— all good socialist practices.
Well, I heard they are quadrupling the number of IRS investigators....oh, and then there’s the 20,000 new gov’t employees to analyze, figure out Defense procurement....while they shut down the F-22? and Boeing is likely to lay off 30,000....
And here is the GAO testimony on the virtual fence to Congress. http://homeland.house.gov/SiteDocuments/20080227105433-48186.pdf
Boeing's virtual-fence pilot project was delivered more than six months late and was plagued with problems. The next portion was supposed to be up by last December, but the work was halted last August because of technical problems. DHS spent as much money on the virtual fence as it did on the actual fence, with very little to show for it. The actual fence went up and is working. The virtual fence, not so much. So they have chosen to fund the failing project and not fund the one that works.
State Dept says, “Oh, they just wandered into the US, didn't know they crossed the border. . it's just a big mistake.”
This enrages me to no end that our own State Dept, our LEFTY State Dept, makes excuses for the Mexican Army as they escort drug smugglers into the US.
The border is well marked, every inch is marked by a well-defined and wide road along with, at the very least, barb-wire fencing. Oh, and the Mexican Army is driving Hummers we gave them, and they all came with GPS (most likely sold to the cartels, just like their weapons, also US supplied).
Par for the Obama course.
I agree with you except on this point. The border is NOT clearly marked at all. Only in or close to urban areas is it clearly marked.
Some cases, you can't tell where the border lies.
My brother had a ranch in Corizo Springs, Texas. If he left the doors unlocked, the illegals would spend the night, take water, what food they could find.
If you locked the doors, the illegals would break in and trash the place. Spray paint Viva Mexico around.
Besides, most Americans have never been to the border, they know little about the valley here in Texas.
It is a complete cesspool. High crime, illegal drugs, prostitution, rampant diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, parasitic infections...you get the point.
None of our senators or representatives would EVER go to the border as a civilian. They would never venture down to the valley where U.S. citizens are forced to live and endure this illegal invasion.
Trust me on this, I have been to the border and into Mexico many times....it would totally shock the average American to see the true face of these Mexican border towns.
The criminal offense is not so much the Mexican crossing the border, it is the treasonous acts of our elected officials letting it take place.
Can't speak to your brothers situation, but my son is a Border Patrol Agent in AZ and every inch of the border there is marked with a road and with at least a few strands of barb-wire. . . .all the way to CA. Except, of course, where ranchers are fighting the marking of the border (and some ranches extend over the border). Even on the reservations there are fences and a road.
The road is where the Border Patrol “drags” to smooth out the area so tracks may be more easily seen and the hunt begins.
In Texas, the border is clearly marked by a river. So I guess you are right, not a clearly man-made marking. . .but a pretty darned good natural border marker.
Anyone near the border knows where it is, no question. People just don't wander across the border and go; “Whoa, how did I get here?”
They cross deliberately. . .especially the Mexican Army.
The virtual fence is misnamed. It is a monitoring and detection system.
Project 28 was a technology demonstrator and it served its purpose-—to field new technology in a limited area to determine what technology worked and what didnt, to figure out best use and tactics, and to help refine the process. It did all that, as you dont want to built an entirely new system and deploy it along a 28-mile stretch without testing it.
The fielding of the system (now that the bugs have been worked out) is ready to go and is being employed. In the meantime Mobile Surveillance Systems are doing spot-work and the technology is working like gang-busters.
Oh, there was a tower in the test phase that was idle for a while and CBP asked it be removed and it was. Well, what do you know, in a few weeks that area was the new high-speed highway north. The tower was brought back in and the traffic stopped.
So there is another added benefit for the towers: they are deterring traffic. Kind of like a mine-field, those are not specifically laid to kill but to shape the battlefield, and the towers are used in that manner. . .funnel the traffic.
The SBInet is like an AWACS to a fighter, it sees the battlefield and manages the fight. SBInet as AWACS will see into Mexico and with that information position Border Patrol Agents where they need to be for the intercept and take-down.
Stopping work was down for political purposes (I attended a couple of the hearings. Nothing but political posturing). Thing is, DHS/CBP are novices when it comes to inside the Beltway processes and how to fight back. They lose every time because they dont respond with facts. In fact, they dont respond at all, instead sit back and take credit for any successes and defer negative press to the contractor. They got that part down but they dont appreciate by acting this way they lose because they dont seen to have a handle on the situation.
“you dont want to built an entirely new system and deploy it along a 28-mile stretch without testing it.”
Actually, you want to test on a 28-mile stretch instead of deplying untested over a 700 mile stretch.
Just to be clear.
There was never any proposal to deploy it along the entire 700 miles. The idea was to deploy in remote border areas, such as are found in Arizona, and the 28-mile pilot was supposed to test the concept. The concept turned out to be flawed. The best way to describe this is to say it is like one of the Pentagon money-pit projects that gets funded and re-funded, runs up huge cost overruns, and never results in a useful weapons system but keeps the Congressman in office. I’m not saying they will never get the virtual fence up and running. The technology is there. The military has workable virtual systems. They could have just bought it off the shelf. Instead they tried to invent an entire new system.
The border is marked now until you get southeast of El Paso, Texas. There, the rough terrain, like around Presidio, is supposed to discourage them. The Texans put up a huge fight to prevent the construction of what fence there is there, especially in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
I can feel the hope and change pulsing through my wallet and a tingle up my leg.
No COTS product available for the conditions of use. None.
There is a requirement to cover at least 700 miles with SBInet coverage: “In addition to deploying technology across the southwest border, the SBI program office plans to deploy 370 miles of single-layer pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing” (from a GAO report).
The quote refers to coverage of SBInet AND physical fencing to work together when deployed fully.
Have no idea about Pentagon projects that are “money-pit” projects. Would very much like to read what you have regarding that. Please provide examples. Also would like to know how you know these projects “never” result in a useful weapon system. Which one(s). Would like to know more. If you can provide details, of course, I would be pleased to review. Are you talking about DARPA?
Now, for your inspirational viewing pleasure:
http://www.dailymotion.com/user/Americanbattlecry/video/x97kj8_i-dare-you-to-border-patrol_music (First 30-sec no sound).
I don't know anything about a "requirement" to cover 700 miles with SBInet technology. That isn't in the authorizing or the funding legislation. The technology language, in fact, was pretty vague, and DHS oversight made it even vaguer.
I think some of the news coverage is misleading, because even if we have an effective virtual fence in place, we still need to be able to send Border Patrol out to intercept who and what it detects.
Just for you: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2247238/posts
Perhaps you are thinking the MSS trucks when discussing the coverage?
They were fielded just for the purposes you mentioned.
Gonna have to give me more specifics. . .
With you 100% on the need for Agents. Simply no way around that. No way. The detection and monitoring system SBInet will provide will help build the bigger picture and help deploy the Agents where they are needed most. Like I said, with you 100% on this.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda been HUNTER.
No surprise here,with an enhanced border fence there will be fewer new voters for acorn to count.