If the idea of a high-tech “invisible” border fence was to keep furriners off the property on the cheap and to do so without prompting embarrassing comparisons to the Berlin Wall, it appears to have failed on both counts.
The fifty-three-mile-long boondoggle did, however, manage to funnel practically a billion dollars into the hands of contractors like the Boeing Corporation, so not everybody went away unhappy.
It seems the electronic surveillance equipment is unable to differentiate between trespassing aliens and ordinary ground clutter.
It makes one pine for an old-fashioned, inexpensive, low-tech solution—like the heart-stirring vision of Black Jack Pershing and George Patton galloping across the border at the head of a column of YOO-nited States Cavalry. You can bet your government-issue horse blanket they were able to differentiate between Pancho Villa’s band of desperadoes and ordinary ground clutter.
The romance of the American West aside, many of us would prefer a “real” fence along the entire border. The problem is that, while providing the visceral satisfaction of catching would-be border-violators in the act of scaling it like cockroaches trying to get out of a bathtub, it’s a budget-buster and doesn’t work all that much better than the “virtual” one, anyway.
Maybe the better solution would be to put into effect an incorruptible guest-worker ID program, and to place heavy penalties on businesses that employ illegals under the table.
In other words, eliminate the incentive.
Nah… “Fix the danged fence!” makes for a much better sound bite in campaign ads… right, Sen. McCain?