October 21, 2010

Border Fence Not Only Invisible, But Also Ineffectual, and, Soon, Nonexistent

From the LA Times:
The Department of Homeland Security, positioning itself to cut its losses on a so-called invisible fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, has decided not to exercise a one-year option for Boeing to continue work on the troubled multibillion-dollar project involving high-tech cameras, radar and vibration sensors.

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.

86 comments:

ben tillman said...

This just reminds us that the central government's top priority is the dissolution of this nation.

Anonymous said...

The result, after an investment of more than $1 billion, may be a system with only 53 miles of unreliable coverage...

To paraphrase Rick Springfield: Where can I find me a gig like that?

That's about 20 million dollars per mile.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve was in the Mentalist!

Justin said...

Wow, this was impossible to see coming, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

They are really trying to make this more complicated than it is because they don't want to stop the flow. If they were serious about the border, they would take a cue from the world's largest democracy, India, and build something akin to their barrier with Bangladesh.

I find it interesting that the length of the India-Bangladesh border, 2500 miles, is almost exactly the same as our border with Mexico, the one the politicians tell us is too big to control.

Jim Bowery said...

Here's a shovel ready jobs program:

10 scouts per mile on look out at all times. 3 shifts. That's 60,000 border scout jobs!

What would be the added burden to the national debt from this make-work boondoggle?

At a depression wage of $8/hour, one year of border protection would be then 'bout $1 billion.

Gee!

Anonymous said...

Way off-topic, but I had a bunch of windows open on the computer tonight, and I thought I was typing "disastrous consequences" into a text editor, when in fact I was typing it into a Google search input.

And this is what Google gave me for an auto-complete: "the disastrous consequences of muslim inbreeding"

Screenshot here.

Somebody out there [the Mossad, maybe?] must be Google-bombing the phrase "disastrous consequences".

Stella said...

Emperor has no fence.

Piper said...

In the meantime, DHS spokesman Chandler said Customs and Border Protection will determine "if there are alternatives that may more efficiently, effectively and economically meet our nation's border security needs."

Let's see. The 53 miles of "invisible" fence which never could prevent people crossing the border, and fails even to alert border guards when they do, cost more than $20 million per mile.

How much would a mile of actual fence cost? Less than $5 million per mile for sure.

I'm gonna stay up all night waiting for someone in CBP to determine if a $5-million/mile actual fence might be a cost-effective alternative to a $20-million/mile fantasy fence.

Anonymous said...

We knew and predicted when this "virtual fence" was proposed, that this was another scam, a boondoggle for the military/industrial complex and a sad joke to try to fool the sheeple into believing that "the government in Washington" was doing something to fix the problem (note that there is no difference between the Bushes, Clintons, and Obama on this topic, and the elites of both parties are in agreement to see that nothing is done).

You could put each ten mile section of the border up for bid to contractors (properly vetted to forbid illegal labor), and have the entire border fence build in six months to a year at most, for far, far less than the cost of this "virtual fence".

You build the wall ten feet high, some say, and the Mexicans will scale it with 11 foot ladders? Well, post guard towers every hundred yards with snipers with orders to shoot anyone carrying 11 foot ladders. Until we are serious about this and stop screwing around, this will continue to be a joke and this country will continue to be a laughing stock. A ruling elite that negates national sovereignty in this manner is not fit to rule; it is fit only for the tumbrel and the guillotine.

Polistra said...

Classic bureaucracy. When you want the bothersome Little People to stop pushing something that *won't* put quadrillions of dollars into your Swiss bank accounts, you provide a 'solution' that's guaranteed to fail. You can then tell the Little People "Well, we tried to enforce the border, but as you can clearly see, it's just physically impossible. Law of Nature and all that."

Anonymous said...

Well, the silver lining might be that a Republican Congress attach mandatory E-Verify to a defense authorization bill.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that we have not been bombing Mexico?

Mexican politicians have been candid often enough about their contempt for US law. The illegals that have been flowing in have done so with the blessings of those in power. So clearly Mexico has demonstrated its hostile intentions towards our country.

When confronted with border aggression we could adopt a passive "Maginot Line" strategy and build a fence, or we could adopt a forward strategy and strike directly at the offending nation.

Johnson had the right idea - just the wrong war. Start a bombing campaign to bring them to the negotiating table.

We have the planes. We have the bombs. With these we can motivate the Mexicans to build their own fence - to keep Mexicans in.

Albertosaurus

beowulf said...

The idea was to sidetrack Duncan Hunter's push for a fence along the entire border by making it look like the US Government was doing something without actually doing anything. Mission accomplished!

"Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Duncan Hunter proposed building two parallel steel and wire fences running from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Coast. Hunter called for building a reinforced, two-layer 15' fence, separated by a 100-yard gap, along the entire length of the US border with Mexico.

"But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said a wall running the length of a border would cost too much. A 2,000 mile state-of-the-art border fence has been estimated to cost between four and eight billion dollars. Costs for a wall that would run the entire length of the border might be as low as $851 million for a standard 10-foot prison chain link fence topped by razor wire..."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/systems/mexico-wall.htm

Anonymous said...

Edward Rubenstein wrote in Vdare, that it cost the US $1.7 million per mile to build the fence near San Diego. Extrapolate that over the 2,000 mile border and add in a little extra for asthetics and it ends up costing US $4 billion to build a fence along the entire US-Mexican border. A billion does not sound like a lot, but that is 1/4 of the cost to build the actual fence. Once built, it does not go away, eat, or complain.

Anonymous said...

The saddest thing is that it's not that hard. Require proof of citizenship at time of employment. Businesses violating this requirement pay a %50,000 fine for each violation. Poof!

Mr. Anon said...

Well at least Boeing got paid a billion dollars. And that's what's really important.

Anonymous said...

An intentional sabotage.

Jehu said...

Jim,
I've a long term solution to the problem. Put 10-20 houses per mile all along the border, such that their property lines cover the entire border. Sell the houses and pay each owner a stipend of 50K/year. Exempt said owners from all firearms regulations (basically, they all have a blanket FFL of the highest category, allowing them machine guns, mortars, and the like). Also give them blanket permission to kill anyone passing through their perimeter from the prohibited side on sight. Encourage a defensive alliance with all of their neigbhors. Give them a 911-type line wherein they can call in artillery & air support as required. Frankly, this 'Exurban Line' would probably hold against anything Mexico could throw at it, be it a military incursion, illegal migration, or drug lord activity. It'd cost you 1-2 billion dollars a year tops, and honestly, you'd probably make most of that back in increased property taxes from the areas near the border that have ceased to be dangerous. The idea would make most medieval lords familiar with the task of controlling a frontier smile.

Svigor said...

So, not only did they not secure the border; they also used the public's desire to secure the border to run a billion+ dollar scam on the taxpayers.

Sounds about par.

Jack Quinn said...

So..."build the dang fence" = a 53 mile mirage?

Default User said...

The "invisible wall" is a mirror image of the "technology in schools" gambit. The filling of orders, of course, fills grateful pockets.

The technology is very visible and verifiable (you can view and count PCs). It allows politicians to claim to be doing something. Nobody really cares if it works.

The "invisible wall" is designed to be invisible and unverifiable. Unlike the who-cares attitude of school technology, this is designed not to work. It offers the added advantage that should it, by some freak accident, actually prove effective, they can turn it off.

Both succeed in the most important respect: they generate high dollar purchase orders and grateful recipients of said orders. It is sad that less developed countries can manage something as simple as a barrier and the USA cannot. All part of that Can't Do attitude I guess. Perhaps our best hope is that Mexico invades Israel. In that case the wall would be done in a month.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how the United States maintains troops all around the world while its own border is chaotic and dysfunctional?

Severn said...

Whoa, I never saw that once coming!

John D said...

If they were serious about the border, they would take a cue from the world's largest democracy, India, and build something akin to their barrier with Bangladesh.

Exactly true. We could seal that border any time we choose to. Build a double fence as high as it needs to be, and fill all the middle space with concertina wire.

Then, bring all our troops off the Korean DMZ and station them at our own border. Why are we guarding Korea's border and completely ignoring our own. That's just retarded. I don't know why no politician ever makes that obvious case.

We could absolutely shut the border down cold if we ever had the will to do so. So shameful (and ruinous) that it's not done.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I see a pattern here. I've been trying to drive to work in my virtual car, and I'm still sitting here!

Although in fairness, I did not spend a billion dollars on my virtual car. That level of stupidity requires the Federal government.

Stella said...

Maybe 'Empire has no fence' is better.

Anonymous said...

Wow, India builds 2,500 mile barrier with Bangladesh for $1.2 billion, and we blow $1 billion on 53 miles of a joke built by Boeing? Maybe we should invite Indian barrier-builders over here to do the job Americans just wont do. And pay them double (heck, even triple) to make the fence twice as high.

Kylie said...

The system worked, eh?

pzed said...

ppl designing the invisible fence have put a lot more thought into it than you have.

there's no way to patrol all 2000 miles of fence effectively w/o electronics or a massive amount of ppl who would basically have to live by the fence 24/7.

ppl here wouldn't care i'm sure, but putting a physical fence up would stop animal migration along w/ the human kind. let's grant that no one here gives a hoot about animals. if you build a barb wire fence, it'd be cut w/ a few minutes of work. build a true fence, they'll put a ladder over it in seconds. if you make it tall, they'll just dig under or cut through. that could take maybe a half hour. you could make it tall, thick and deep and 2k miles of it will cost an arm and a leg and take you a decade. and you would still need electronics or many patrols to find very determined wall climbers or tunnelers b/c once a path is blazed, more will follow unless it's found and closed.

the invisible fence was worth a shot. sure it didn't work, but a 2k mile problem isn't going to be solved easily.

stari_momak said...

Jehu has a great idea -- not dissimilar to the free peasant communities (grenzer) that used to separate the Hapsburg empire from Ottoman -- the Cossacks performed a similar function in Russia.

Or we could just ramp up the Border Patrol. A 24/7 work week has about 4.2 'shifts' (@40/wk). Just back of the envelope, we could hire about 41000 guys and have a guy for every quarter mile of the border, 24/7/365 , with another 20% for supervisory personnel. If salary and overhead costs were 100,000 per guy, that would be just over 4 billion -- well under 1% of our current defense budget.

Svigor said...

the invisible fence was worth a shot. sure it didn't work, but a 2k mile problem isn't going to be solved easily.

Why don't you compare and contrast with the Israeli fence for us? Does the Israeli fence work? If so, how? How long is it? How many people are required to man it? What's the per mile cost to build? Maintain? If it works for them, why won't it work for us? If it doesn't work for them, why don't they say so? Why would the Indians repeat the mistake over a border roughly as long as our southern border? Have you given a moment's thought to any of this?

Just curious. I think the fence is a waste of time, personally. We take drug dealers' homes and cars (it's called "asset forfeiture), fine them, and put them in prison. We can do the same thing to people who can't provide a paper trail for their employees.

Svigor said...

Lol, I love how that cretin says it was "worth a shot" at 20 mil a mile, like the gov't should be commended for their heroic efforts, lol. The icing on the cake.

Svigor said...

You don't need "many patrols" to prevent tunnels. You figure out how long it would take to dig a tunnel, and that's your patrol interval (to check for tunnels, anyway) for ground penetrating radar, which consists of a guy with a wheeled doohickey.

Severn said...

there's no way to patrol all 2000 miles of fence effectively w/o electronics or a massive amount of ppl who would basically have to live by the fence 24/7.




We could call these people .... I don't know .... an army? Make them this body of people charged with protecting the country? The way all the other countries do? Crazy, I know.

I guess when you're a virtual country, it makes sense to have virtual borders as well.

Anonymous said...

A fence will take on a much more important role as time goes on because programs like 287g. Amnesty or not, we will get much better at deporting the least desirable of the bunch but it will all come to naught if all they need to do is sneak back across the border. E-Verify and better ID will work on some but it won't stop the illegals that hang out in front of home depot and drive without a license.

Severn said...

ppl here wouldn't care i'm sure, but putting a physical fence up would stop animal migration along w/ the human kind. let's grant that no one here gives a hoot about animals.



Very much including you. Is that really the best you can come up with?

FYI, the DMZ between North and South Korea has become a nature preserve.

But then, you care less about our furry friends then I do.

Anonymous said...

File this one in 'Piss over spilled milk category'.

USA,Israel, Congo, Serbia, Erithrea...countries without defined borders.

Truth(er) said...

I was watching some show called "Lockup." They explained that the cost of building the kind of walls and fencing surrounding supermax prisons is about $1,000 per linear foot.

Anonymous said...

OT, but does the rent is too damn high guy remind you of an older version of President Camancho from Idiocracy? Is this a precursor to Mike Judge's vision?

compare:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4o-TeMHys0
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5zAAASsuyk&feature=related

qaz

Whiskey said...

The question is, why is support for illegal immigration so high?

Yes Dems get lots of anti-White voters. Yes Blacks get an ally against Whites (even if in the long run they lose). Yes rich White people get lots of cheap nannies.

But that's not enough in and of itself to generate the political support to prevent illegal immigration. The answer is:

Nice White Ladies.

The Nice White Ladies love illegal immigration. Not only does it provide an endless supply of moral posturing and patronizing (one such Nice White Lady told me she tells 5th grade Latino boys they'll all be engineers and scientists) but it feeds into what pretty much most Nice White Ladies believe:

Joe Beta White Guy is WORTHLESS. Indeed, worse than nothing. Hickenlooper (running againsts Tancredo in Colorado) called the non-Denver dwellers a bunch of mouth-breather racists and Murderers:

"Hickenlooper: I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico.

Lane: We’re neighbors.

Hickenlooper: Right. And in a sense we’re all a community. And, at the same time, Denver has, I think, one of the more robust, politically active gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities, really in the United States."

Disdain for the beta male White guy figures into this (preference for gays, Mexicans, Blacks etc.) at the Nice White Lady level.

Dave1 said...

Mine the border with Mexico. I'm perfectly serious.

Put a low cheap fence on both sides of the minefield with signs that's the border minefield. Take out adds in Mexican and Central American media that the border is mined along it's entire length. Pass legislation preventing the compensation of any foreign nationals who are injured by trying to cross the border illegally other than at official border crossing stations.

Deport illegals, minor aged "anchor babies" and all, unless they're adopted by a US citizen.

Anonymous said...

The hand of goverment is visible in everything but border patrol. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of this is how on the same day we decided we can't build a fence, JFK airport gets full body scanners. No need to worry about who's coming in, but our own citizens lose all bodily privacy.

Wandrin said...

"No need to worry about who's coming in, but our own citizens lose all bodily privacy."

Eaxactly. Because they see us as the enemy. We're the enemy. Immigrants are allies.

Anonymous said...

1 of 2

@pzed: you are either unbelievably stupid, or a paid government shill.

"ppl designing the invisible fence have put a lot more thought into it than you have."

They sure did; "how can we fool the suckers this time" and "how can we waste a billion taxpayer dollars and pay off our friends" takes a lot of thought, indeed.

"there's no way to patrol all 2000 miles of fence effectively w/o electronics or a massive amount of ppl who would basically have to live by the fence 24/7."

False, as already demonstrated: India does it for a wall just as long, for a fraction of the price. Israel does it. The US does it in Iraq - IN IRAQ!!!!! But refuses to do it in the USA. You're either completely clueless, or shilling for the PTB.

"ppl here wouldn't care i'm sure, but putting a physical fence up would stop animal migration along w/ the human kind. let's grant that no one here gives a hoot about animals."

You can leave small wildlife migration paths in the fence, and staff them 24/7 with armed guards with the usual IR gear to see at night, etc., and no humans would get through but wildlife would get through. This is a complete non-issue.

"if you build a barb wire fence, it'd be cut w/ a few minutes of work."

Anyone approaching it with wire cutters would be shot on sight. This isn't a difficult problem.

"build a true fence, they'll put a ladder over it in seconds."

Guard towers every hundred yards; anyone approaching the wall with a ladder would be shot on sight. One shooting would send the message, and attempts to scale the wall would stop. It is only our complete pussyness and liberal death cult obsessive concern for hostile aliens that prevents us from taking the necessary measures. India, Israel, other countries don't have a problem with this; for some reason we do.

Anonymous said...

2 of 2

"if you make it tall, they'll just dig under or cut through."

It takes time to dig a tunnel. Ground penetrating radar patrols at regular periods would catch most of them eventually. Besides, tunnels are a heavy investment in time and money so would be used by smugglers for highly valuable items - ie, drugs, not illegal alien invaders (as is the case with the Gaza tunnels: they are money makers for moving high value, small items - not for moving large numbers of people).

Crack down on the employers of illegal invaders, and the monetary incentive for the illegals to come here in the first place goes down dramatically. Thus, no one is going to invest tunnel money for the measly money that illegal migrants can pay.

"that could take maybe a half hour."

You have obviously never dug a tunnel, or done any kind of manual labor, in your life.

"you could make it tall, thick and deep and 2k miles of it will cost an arm and a leg and take you a decade."

You're an idiot. We put up a wall around the oil pipelines in Iraq in short order and it works; same with the land-thieves in Israel: walls work. India only spent a billion on a wall as long as the US/Mex. border and it didn't have to be all that tall or thick to work. They, unlike you, actually want the wall to work, and it does. Where there is a will there is a way; where there is no will nothing works because the people at the top are actively making sure it does not work.

"and you would still need electronics or many patrols to find very determined wall climbers or tunnelers b/c once a path is blazed, more will follow unless it's found and closed."

Patrols, yes, and guard towers; India and others do it without needing expensive high tech electronics. But you are missing the point: once the illegal aliens realize they will be shot dead, they'll reevaluate the cost/benefits of invading our country. We wouldn't have to kill that many in order to send the message and see the numbers of people attempting to get past the wall drop to near zero.

"the invisible fence was worth a shot."

No, it was a complete waste of taxpayer money: theft, in fact, because it was never intended to work. It was intended from the outset to negate real work on a real border fence/wall. It was pure political theater and nothing more. And if you believe otherwise, you are either a fool or a liar.

"sure it didn't work, but a 2k mile problem isn't going to be solved easily."

IT ALREADY HAS BEEN SOLVED you freaking loon! See India, dumb@ss. Seriously, did you bother reading any of the posts before putting your oar in?

Anonymous said...

Once again one-note Whiskey amuses us with his monomania. One suspects Whiskey doesn't know that many women in real life.

"The question is, why is support for illegal immigration so high?"

It isn't. Read some damned polls on the subject, Whiskey. Support for illegal immigration was never "high" and it's as not-high now as it has ever been, in fact more so.

Whiskey, those "nice white ladies" who like moral posturing are defined by their social class, not by their gender. You obsess on the women but ignore the men of the same SWPL social class who hold identical opinions to that of the women.

If you actually knew more actual women you'd know that most of them don't support illegal immigration; but they aren't the kinds of women you're likely to see active in liberal politics or supporting SWPL causes. So to you they are invisible.

Anonymous said...

@Dave1: certainly if we were serious, mines combined with razor wire, fences, walls, and guard towers with snipers would do the job and wouldn't require a massive army - although actually guarding our border is something our army actually should be doing, not chasing down ghosts in Afghanistan or Waziristan, or guarding against long-vanished threats in Germany, Japan, etc.

But it won't happen because our ruling class is against it. If Mexico were full of white Afrikaners, Germans, or Palestinians, though, the border wall with the guard towers, razor wire, and mine fields would be up within months. And anyone employing those illegal alien white Afrikaners, Germans, or Palestinians would be in jail.

You can tell the interests and preferences of the ruling class by how government priorities are set.

Anonymous said...

"My favorite part of this is how on the same day we decided we can't build a fence, JFK airport gets full body scanners. No need to worry about who's coming in, but our own citizens lose all bodily privacy."

IIRC, Samuel Francis used to call this "totalitarian anarchy": the law abiding citizens are increasingly hobbled by rules and regulations, while the ruling class and its lumpenproletariat client-class are increasingly lawless and beyond the reach of any kind of regulation or restraint. The worst prosper and the best are oppressed.

This situation can't be stable. In the end we'll either get real totalitarianism (which might at least exterminate some of the parasites), or real anarchism (ie, chaos) or more likely first one than the other in some order or other.

Anonymous said...

I was watching some show called "Lockup." They explained that the cost of building the kind of walls and fencing surrounding supermax prisons is about $1,000 per linear foot.

$10,560,000,000

So thats about $10.5 billion. However the fence doesnt need to be at supermax standard.

Lets also factor in some pretty hefty economies of scale for a 2,000 mile fence.

Finally there are already bits of fence here and there are there not? So maybe its doesnt even need to be 2,000 miles long. Just stitch together the existing barriers.

none of the above said...

The people in power, both parties, have no interest in enforcing immigration laws, because the immigrants provide cheap labor to politically important industries. So long as that remains the case, no fence will have any effect. We could build a fence out of woven carbon nanotubes and guarded by Terminators with jetpacks, and nothing would change.

People come across our border for straightforward economic reasons--there are more jobs here, and the pay is better. People employ the south-of-the-border reserve army of the unemployed, again, for straightforward economic reasons--they work for a lot less money than citizens, they don't usually unionize or complain to regulators, and they work pretty hard.

It sure seems like the solution here is, similarly, a straightforward economic incentive. Make it no longer pay to hire illegal immigrants, and the flood of cheap labor will reduce to a conveniently manageable trickle.

In order to do that, though, we have to actually want to enforce those laws. Draconian sounding laws that are simply never enforced on Tyson foods or Wal Mart or anyone else with a lobbyist on retainer will be exactly as effective as the invisible fence would have been.

Nanonymous said...

the cost of building the kind of walls and fencing surrounding supermax prisons is about $1,000 per linear foot.

Well, this is still almost 4X less expensive than the invisible fence that does not exist cost us. And no one talks about supermax prisons-grade fencing anyway.

Anonymous said...

And before Whiskey cites some poll showing more women than men favoring illegal immigration, so what? Most women don't favor it, just like most men don't, and men not favoring it by a certain percentage more than women is interesting but hardly the huge matter Whiskey makes it out to be.

Yes women do tend to be a bit more willing to go-along-with-received-opinion-or-established-authority than men do, on average, so more women will support the ruling elite's agenda on average, but that's true for all issues, in all eras, in all countries.

If America were an anti-democratic oligarchy ruled by a landed aristocracy, more women than men would support that, too.

Big deal. Women are more conservative that way - if you're trying to overthrow the existing order of things (which is true for most of us on this blog, I imagine; which is ironic since we get classified as "conservative"), then you're going to have more men on your side than women, always. That's just the way of things.

If Whiskey ever saw his ideal society achieved, sooner or later more women than men would support that. That's just the nature of things, which Whiskey does not understand, and which he complains about uselessly.

Anonymous said...

"You can leave small wildlife migration paths in the fence, and staff them 24/7 with armed guards with the usual IR gear to see at night, etc., and no humans would get through but wildlife would get through. This is a complete non-issue."

The above is only a possible solution assuming that there are real environmental needs for wildlife migration paths in the border fence. It is possible that there is no need.

Birds can fly over the fence. There are no large mammals (ie, bison, mammoths, etc) that need to migrate seasonally across the US/Mexico border. Smaller animals don't need seasonal migration.

As noted above, the N. Korea/S. Korea demilitarized zone is now an unintended wildlife habitat. A border fence ain't necessarily bad for the environment or wildlife.

Svigor said...

IIRC, Samuel Francis used to call this "totalitarian anarchy"

Anarcho-Tyranny.

Svigor said...

Mine the border with Mexico. I'm perfectly serious.

Put a low cheap fence on both sides of the minefield with signs that's the border minefield.


I'd go with a high fence on the Mexican side, so somebody has to make a serious effort to get over it, but otherwise, I agree; that's probably the best barrier we could get for the money.

Anonymous said...

They explained that the cost of building the kind of walls and fencing surrounding supermax prisons is about $1,000 per linear foot.

There are 5280 feet in a mile.

That gets you to 5280 X $1000 = $5,280,000 per mile, or about 1/4th of what the gubmint just paid Boeing [per mile].

2000 miles X $5,280,000 per mile = $10,560,000,000 = $10.5 billion, or about 1-100th of any of the recent trillion dollar "stimulus" packages.

Heck, if we had thrown 10 or 20 billion at the border wall, and another 100 or 200 billion at a decent-sized F-22 fleet, then any one of these "stimulus" packages might actually have bought us something [worth shaking a stick at].

Anonymous said...

Some people are suggesting that even if the US were to build the India style fence along our Mexican border it would not stop all human traffic. Of course it would not. However, even if it would cut traffic in half, it would be worth it. My guess is that it would probably cut 75 to 90% of the current flow. Couple that with proper enforcement of employment law and the elimination of state benefits, and you'd see a drastic reduction in the illegal population.

More importantly it would also send the message that the game is over. Currently, you'd have to be a fool if you lived in Mexico or Central America AND DID NOT try to come here illegally. After all, if you can get here, you can get a job, get a place to live, get free medical care and your kid can enroll in a half a billion dollar high school. Building a real fence and enforcing the law would probably cause a lot of individuals to not try. After all, Mexico and Central America are not poor in the sense of what poor really is in places like Haiti and Africa.

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the power of symbolism. If the USA "elites" were really serious about border control, they would build an ocean to gulf wall. This would clearly show we mean business. The very fact that no such wall is, or ever will be, built shows that we are NOT serious about our borders or immigration. The elites have their own agenda and it doesn't include us.

David said...

The government is illegitimate. Period.

So dust off your keyboard and write a stiff letter of protest to the editor of your local newspaper.

Jack Aubrey said...

I say we give the designers and advocates of the invisible fence each a pair of invisible clothes, and see how that works.

On second thought, exclude Barney Frank and Ken Mehlman from that. They'd like it too much.

Anonymous said...

I live in a smallish town where at any given time there are only 2 to 7 cops on duty. One time a police officer told me that it takes 4 to 5 hours to arrest and process a drunk driver when you added up the reports, court time, driving the guy to the klink, etc. The upshot was that if a cop arrested a drunk driver on a Sunday night, in theory, there might be only one cop on duty cutting the force in half!

When hundreds of thousands of illegals try to cross the border and get caught in substantial numbers has s similar effect. Most of the border patrol agents are caught up in endless catch and release cycle. If the number of illegal crossers would drop by hundreds of thousands due to the deterrent, then the officers could be used more strategically.

Another note, if we used biometrics and better ID, getting caught would have greater consequences. The fingerprints harvested could be matched with workers (biometric social security cards, drivers licenses, voter ID, etc.) which would really put a crimp in the illegals style. Right now we collect fingerprints but they are useless because they are not really used for anything.

sabril said...

"Women are more conservative that way"

This makes a decent amount of sense. Perhaps women are genetically programmed to side with whomever is winning. Genetically speaking, there is far less upside for women in taking risks.

Anyway, I agree that we could build a reasonably effective border barrier if we wanted to. It wouldn't stop everyone, but it would stop enough people to make a big difference.

Another strategy (which could be implemented simultaneously) would be to implement a minimum wage for illegal aliens of $25 per hour and give illegal aliens the right to sue their employers in federal court for back wages and double damages.

Anonymous said...

If the government provided 287(g) funding to every local police department who asked for it, deportations would skyrocket. This is just a training program, nothing more.

There are only 820 certified 287(g) officers and they're responsible for over 180,000 deportations.

There is a certain number of deportations that would cause a "tipping point" which would make most illegals decide that it is not worth it to come here.

Silver said...

pzed,

And what about all those arachnids whose lives a fence would totally turn upside down? Doesn't anyone care about them?

Bruce Banner said...

US citizens should consider paying "virtual" taxes to its government. That way they'll be even.

Anonymous said...

Pzed,

Your conclusions are all wrong. Why have a fence around a prison if the prisoners can simply dig under it or climb over it?

You have a fence to slow them down, Because it takes them longer, you can then respond in force while they are still digging. I agree we'll need a decent sized force to patrol. Good, the investment is worth it.

I do like the homeowner idea as well. Combine the two and you'll never need worry about anchor babies again.

Anonymous said...

"India does it for a wall just as long, for a fraction of the price."

In India the final cost of building infrastructure is most of the time multiple times higher than originally claimed.

And the India is not known for getting things done and I'm sure there will be plenty of flaws with their fence.

headache said...

sabril sed:Another strategy (which could be implemented simultaneously) would be to implement a minimum wage for illegal aliens of $25 per hour and give illegal aliens the right to sue their employers in federal court for back wages and double damages.

this is the strategy in Germany, and it works. I recently spoke to a union rep there and he explained that as long as the min. wage is in place, and the cops raid the factories, there is not so much need for controlling immigration since companies gain nothing by importing cheap labor.

ben tillman said...

"No need to worry about who's coming in, but our own citizens lose all bodily privacy."

Eaxactly. Because they see us as the enemy. We're the enemy. Immigrants are allies.


That is it, exactly.

SF said...

The virtual fence might have a limited application in narrow corridors where real fences are undesireable environmentally, maybe where we want jaguars or javelinas to cross freely but not people. Just speculating. Mostly I agree with Bowery.

Sword said...

Some datapoints from Wikipedia on the border between West and east germany:

Length:1393 kilometers (866mi)
Price: secret, but various guesstimates exist
Maximum #border guards: 47,000
#Attempted escapees during 5 years in the 70ies: 4956
Of those making it across the border: 229
Average annual cross-border escapees in the 80ies, both internal border and west Berlin border: 380
Border zone width: Varied, usually about 6 kilometers (4 mi)

headache said...

I forgot to add the other side. The immigration problem which Germany experiences, and which Dr. Sarrazin documented, is due to immigration into the social security network. The only way to shut that down is to limit social security to German citizens, or to scrap it all together, which would be unfair to German taxpayers. However, Germany signed multilateral agreements with countries of origin of the guest workers (incl. Turkey) so that the social security payments of the guest workers would remain due to them, which was a fair move in intent. But it did not limit these agreements to people who had paid into the system, which was the mistake. This is the weak spot which the Leftists, Greens and Muslim imperialists have been abusing for 30 years, and over which the immigration fight in Germany currently revolves.

sabril said...

"I'm sure there will be plenty of flaws with their fence."

There are plenty of flaws with any fence. The idea that a fence should work perfectly is a bit of a strawman. To work, it need only raise the cost of crossing (in terms of time, energy, and safety) by a significant amount.

The fact is that there are plenty of effective security measures which can be circumvented without a ton of effort. For example, it's very common that a bank branch in the city will have heavy security glass while the same bank will have a branch in the suburbs with no security glass at all. In theory, there is nothing to stop a determined criminal from driving out to the suburbs and robbing the suburban branch. But as a practical matter, it works reasonably well to install glass only in the city branches.

Gene Berman said...

Ben Tillman:

(Referring to your lead-off comment)

I don't think you're exactly on target but I don't think you're far off. That is to say that I don't think the conscious goal is either the complete failure of the nation or anarchic conditions. They definitely want a nation of which they're at least somewhat in control (and, further, I think most elites are quite aware that they, themselves, wouldn't fare well under lawlessness).

By and large, it suits their purpose ideally for the nation to constantly be in a state of flux and/or crisis: it's what they're "in business" to deal with through "programs," whether existing or proposed. Moreover, to the extent that their general policies appeal broadly to their large targeted demographic segments, the chief political opposition feels forced to offer their own brand of the same, rather than some clearly differing vision.

There's an old saying that "people get the leaders they deserve"; I think it highly applicable to what we see today. And, if I had to indict some principal cause, I'd say that our system of compulsory public education (with the added-on, co-opted centers of "higher' education) is (and has been, for very many years) the principal bulwark of a dumbed-down electorate, unashamedly apathetic to almost any appeal not in line with some perceived narrow self-interest.

In other words, I don't think central gov't. has dissolution as a priority at all--it'll just a "side effect" to their far simpler ambition to stay on top of a mess.

That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it! Of course, I could be wrong. (And I don't think Dennis Miller says it any better.)

Silver said...


And the India is not known for getting things done and I'm sure there will be plenty of flaws with their fence.


Dude, it's a fence. It's not rocket science. But even if it were, rocket science is something the India has proven quite capable of. So I'm pretty sure they can handle a fence.

And whaddya know, googling up pics of it confirms it. Looks a damn nice fence, if you ask me. I sure as hell wouldn't like cherish the prospect of trying to penetrate it, particularly considering the implicit message it sends, ie those who built it don't take kindly to people wanting to sneak in to their country.

Make sense?

Roger Chaillet said...

Cost?

Here in Texas an estimated $600 million is spent each year on bilingual - read "monolingual" - education for the American (sic) children of "migrants" from south of the Rio Bravo.

Money has never been a hindrance to an elected official.

Never.

After all it's not the elected official's money.

Anonymous said...

Gene Berman: I don't think you're exactly on target but I don't think you're far off. That is to say that I don't think the conscious goal is either the complete failure of the nation or anarchic conditions.

While the question of the conscious [explicit, tacit] realization of it is interesting [personally, I'm of the opinion that this stuff is much more explicitly understood to them than they would care to admit] - I'd instead like to zero in on a little semantic point in what you just said: The people that our ancestors called Anarchists were known to the White Russians as the Nihilists.

PS: There are some really awesome bumper sticker slogans on this thread - "virtual borders for a virtual country", "we are the enemy", etc - and they would be great for driving home the point to some of the Joe Sixpack folks who might not have the stomach for contemplating the full horror of the intellectual nihilism we are facing here.

sabril said...

"Some datapoints from Wikipedia on the border between West and east germany"

As I recall, the East Germans would shoot at people who tried to cross. It seems to me that greatly reduces the cost of building an effective barrier.

Once word gets out that you had a decent chance of being killed for trying to cross, one can expect the number of attempts to drop quite a bit.

beowulf said...

For a single line border fence, the Border Patrol's new "anti-ram" fencing looks pretty good (15' above ground, 6' below).
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/most-popular-border-fence-technologies

The $3.8 million per mile cost sounds expensive, but we're spending $150 billion a year fighting in Afghanistan, so a 2,000 mile border fence would cost less than 3 weeks of combat.

In the 1980s, the Army Corps of Engineers produced an interesting report of the history of defensive barriers. The big takeaway point is that the greatest value of a barrier is its deterrence value. The secondary value (when deterrence fails) is to slow down the invader long enough to give the defender's maneuver forces time to respond.

On both counts, an "invisible fence" is as worthless as no fence at all.
http://downloads.sturmpanzer.net/MLW/The_Strategic_Performance_of_Defensive_Barriers.pdf

Svigor said...

this is the strategy in Germany, and it works. I recently spoke to a union rep there and he explained that as long as the min. wage is in place, and the cops raid the factories, there is not so much need for controlling immigration since companies gain nothing by importing cheap labor.

And it's effing bril because it totally checkmates the Dems/left and leaves the greedy capitalist Republican pigs out in the cold.

Escapist said...

I agree with Gene Berman on this one. The idea of a League of Very Bad Gentlemen (the elites in this case) is comforting because it implies a single-point-of-failure and thus “destroy the ring of Sauron and there goes evil” type of solution.

A key problem is that while candidates who are pro-border enforcement are available (Tancredo is one example), they get little traction from the public, because other things matter more. Partly it’s media-driven, but partly it’s the lure of free money in the form of entitlements – and pro-open borders politicians tend to provide more of that by definition (as open borders brings in a more socialist constituency).

People want closed borders (and to be thin), but in practice, they vote for The Usual Suspects (and eat junk food), because the shorter term is what drives them.

David said...

>[Germany] did not limit these [social security] agreements to people who had paid into the system<

Just a gigantic, growing giveaway.

>I don't think central gov't. has dissolution as a priority at all--it'[s] just a "side effect"<

Governments throughout the West are deliberately electing a new people - a non-Western people. For various reasons.

Udolpho.com said...

someone who thinks you can dig a tunnel in half an hour has never lifted his acne-encrusted ass from the wal-mart task chair in several yeras

Anonymous said...

One irony is that a "fence" is the ultimate "shovel ready" project. Lots of steel and concrete.