Border fence boondoggle

The much-heralded and much-maligned 600-mile long border fence between the United States and Mexico, is morphing into a typical government boondoggle — way over budget, way behind schedule, and way short of its promised goals. 

The border fence, designed to thwart illegal border crossings into the U.S. from our southern neighbor, was supposed to have been completed this year.  However, estimates now place its completion date seven years hence — 2016, to be exact.  Its construction costs have sky-rocketed, as has the amount of money needed just to maintain it, which now is estimated by the Government Accountability Office at $6.5 billion over the next two decades.

Although the fence was envisioned by its congressional and Bush Administration proponents as providing a near-impenetrable barrier to those intent on entering our country illegally from Mexico, the reality is that it is anything but.  Sandstorms in the arid border area frequently render unusable the expensive infrared cameras mounted along its top.  Already, about 3,000 breaches have been documented, each of which costs some $1,300 to repair.  It succumbs regularly to wire cutters, ladders and vehicles bashing through it.

One might legitimately wonder where are all the immigration hawks who clamored for construction of a “border fence” during the previous administration — most of who also classified themselves as budget hawks — now that the project is turning out to be a white elephant.

81 comments Add your comment

Buzz G

October 16th, 2009
6:51 am

You forgot to mention that the Obama administration is sending Border Patrol agents from the Mexican border north to the Canadian border. Democratic party goals are to get as many illegal aliens into this country as possible before people get on to them. The reason for this is that new immigrants historically vote Democratic over Republican at about a 4 to 1 ratio. “Demographics is destiny” to a power hungary Democratic politician. Obama and the Democrats intend to hold an amnesty and turn these 15 million illegal aliens into legal little Democratic voters. They don’t care how many Americans are unemployed or how much the health care for these illegals comes to. They care not a fig for this country. Assuring their own election comes before anything. Hopefully this time the Republicans will grow a spine and stop the amnesty.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
6:52 am

What were they thinking? The Great Wall of America doen’t have a good ring to it. Scrap it. The cost alone is prohibitive.

Jim Henderson

October 16th, 2009
6:59 am

Obviously, what is missing here is combining this perfectly sensible approach to border security with improved technology. What is needed is a demonstration project showing that electrified fencing can be powered by clean technologies including wind and solar power. Then the sunny, windy south can be guarded by a border fence that is more effective and less likely to be breached.

Road Scholar

October 16th, 2009
7:19 am

Fence? Why not just prosecute people who hire illegals? If the sentence is strong enough, then there wil be no jobs, and thus no desire to come to this country illegally. As for those who are already here illegally, if they don’t desire to be citizens, send them back. They must initiate the steps to become ciitizens. The loss of jobs will have most illegals leaving anyway. Then the lazy Americans can get off their duffs and do some work.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
7:29 am

Buzz G

October 16th, 2009
6:51 am

Both parties have dirty hands on this issue. They looked the other way as the millions came in to satisfy cheap labor demands by industries. When the Clinton administration raided a Vidalia farm Republicans objected.

From the Center of Immigration Studies:

“For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration authorities ever do conduct an industry-wide investigation, which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers, local congressmen from the affected areas will almost certainly call it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia onion industry in Georgia in the late 1990s was not only aborted by Georgia�s Washington delegation, it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers� illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.”

http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/back704.html

Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff

Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., like any member of Congress, must balance protecting his constituents versus protecting the country — in this case, from a continuing, massive invasion of illegal aliens.

The U.S. senator traveled to Georgia’s onion country in an effort — according to his press release — “to evaluate the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s indiscriminate and inappropriate use of extreme enforcement tactics against Vidalia area onion growers.”

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/052098/opi_087-3240.shtml

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
7:34 am

Road Scholar

October 16th, 2009
7:19 am

What about giving the employers amnesty if they send the workers home within 30 days?

I’m really torn on this issue. It’s hard to be against someone that is just trying to find a better life and provide for their family, but IF we want to honor our heritage and preserve or culture we have to get a grip on illegal and legal immigration.

clyde

October 16th, 2009
8:05 am

TnGelding,

What about prosecuting the employers and giving them 30 days for each month they’ve employed each illegal?

My understanding of this fence is that in places it is north of the border,creating a buffer zone of impounded land.Another Federal land grab.

F-105 Thunderchief

October 16th, 2009
8:19 am

Stop the madness. Kill the project right now.

ron young

October 16th, 2009
8:40 am

Again a repub.attempts to misdirect blame (see BUZZ G) of a Republican action to Dems. The fence project was passed by a Republican controlled congress during a Republican admin.under the guise to deter terrorism while awarding huge tax payer money to their big construction pals and allowing illegal workers to continue to make their way to other big business buddies to work cheap and increase profits. Canada on the other hand has always been the preferred entry route for those who would like to do damage to our country.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
8:40 am

clyde

October 16th, 2009
8:05 am

Why not just shoot ‘em? Just kidding!

And in some places it’s south of the border. And in some places they aren’t sure where the border is. It was just a bad idea IMHO. But something has to be done. They could start by rounding up all those that have committed crimes since their arrival and deporting them.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
8:44 am

ron young

October 16th, 2009
8:40 am

I agree. The switch was for security reasons. But why not just hire more agents? They are badly needed. Guess there isn’t enough money available with Olympic bids to pursue and Nobel Prizes to pick up.

lovelyliz

October 16th, 2009
8:54 am

The only immigrtants stopped by the border fence are the various forms of wildlife that can’t go under, over or through it.

The illegal human immigrants keep coming for work and businesses keep hiring them because the rewards far outweigh the risks.

And the contractors hired to build the boondoggle fence are laughing all the way to the bank on the taxpayer $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

lovelyliz

October 16th, 2009
8:58 am

The only immigrants being stopped by the border fence are the various forms of wildlife that can’t go over, under or around it.

Illegals will continue to come for work and businesses will continue to hire them because the rewards are so great and the risks so minor.

And the contractors hired to build this boondoggle will continue to laugh all the way to the bank on the taxpayer $$$$$$$$$$$$

deathportal

October 16th, 2009
9:11 am

Road Scholar, Do you realize what will happen to the prices of goods that you buy if the companies who hire illegals are severely prosecuted? We should ask ourselves why there is such a market for “illegal” employment. Perhaps it is because we have so many laws about everything from wages to workplace safety, to affirmative action, etc. All of these restrictions raise the cost of production, which in turn leads to unemployment of American citizens and higher prices.

Do you realize that one of the chief reasons why so many of our consumer goods come from China and are no longer produced here, is because it is not profitable to produce them here, when the Chinese are not subject to the same laws as we are? That’s why it’s cheaper to buy goods produced half a world away in China and shipped all the way here than it is to just produce it here.

Wage and price controls set by the government are a disaster, as proven by the shifting of our economy from a production economy to a service economy. And I believe that wage and price controls enforced by the government have everything to do with why we’re seeing more illegal aliens in our workforce.

And like it or not, profit is the measure of a company’s success. They do not operate, even in the medical field (are you listening, Mr. Obama?), as a mere public service. Profit is the measure of efficiency.

To close, I also think it’s unfair that we make the illegals the scapegoat for bad US government policy. If you were mired in poverty in Mexico and wanted to provide for your family, and the United States said, in effect, “come over here and we’ll give you free health care, free education for your children, and you’ll have better luck finding a job,” wouldn’t YOU at least consider it? Blame the United States Government, the bloated, bumbling monster it is, and NOT the poor people who are trying to make something for themselves and their families.

jconservative

October 16th, 2009
9:47 am

If more illegals help the Democratic Party why did the Republicans not finish the fence they started?

The people who hire illegals are a major source of funds for the two political parties. You do not put your source of money in jail.

I am predicting that this country will never secure its borders. The political will & the money are just not there.

GEORGE AMERICAN

October 16th, 2009
9:58 am

WE NEED TO KEEP OUT THE MEXICANS AT ANY COST!!!

clyde

October 16th, 2009
10:04 am

Deathportal,
Are you perhaps implying that the employers of illegals are also bypassing OSHA,or are you suggesting that employers are not paying illegals at least minimum wage?What is the facination for illegals?It’s profits,of course.Illegal profits,it would seem.

lmno

October 16th, 2009
10:07 am

We could just make it much easier for Mexicna immigrants to come here legally.

StJ

October 16th, 2009
10:08 am

Democrats want to assure their re-election and Republicans want cheap, expendable labor. Neither side has the will to keep the illegals out as both benefit from them being here. The only losers are the average Joes who are here legally, until we elect someone else.

Jimbo

October 16th, 2009
10:15 am

@ Buzz G
RIGHT ON, you nailed it!

Jeff

October 16th, 2009
10:35 am

The solution is simple, scrap the border fence and put down landmines.

Steve

October 16th, 2009
10:52 am

Yes, clyde, the employers who hire illegals do indeed disregard OSHA and minimum wage issues. Those employers are looking at the profit margin more than anything else.

Yes, they COULD hire US citizens, but not many people would do that work, even for minimum wage, because it is ACTUAL PHYSICAL LABOR!

Chris Broe

October 16th, 2009
11:07 am

Mexican children are flying helium balloons over the border fence easy as pie. I think there was one yesterday. It’s crazy. We’re never gonna stop them unless we build the wall higher to stop these fiendishly clever illegal minors.

Alice

October 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

If Mexico legalizes marijuana, like they’re contemplating, then they will have to build a wall out to keep us gringos out. Ah hahaha.

Imno, there you go talking sensibly. That will never do here in wonderland.

T. Jeff

October 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

The real topic should have been why a real wall wasn’t proposed and built–not these ludicrous and costly sensors that are worthless.

And also–why are’t the employers prosecuted for law breaking and profiteering?

It doesn’t matter which party pretends to be in power–neither one wants it.

287g!

Devon

October 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

What you bigoted jerks (like BuzzG) are forgetting is that WE ARE AN ENTIRE NATION OF IMMIGRANTS! THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY THAT DID NOT MIGRATE FROM SOME OTHER PLACE IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE!

Man…that sounds curiously like what Latin and South Americans want….a better life. Hmmm. Well, considering the fact that the U.S. Senate just passed a law saying “If you work for Haliburton, it’s cool if you get raped, you can’t sue!” it does not surprise me that there are people out there like BuzzG.

Brittancus

October 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

This is the amount of incredulous influence the–OPEN BORDER–lobbyists (business power brokers and ethnic zealots)) have on certain Democratic cringing rabble? Once again the senate top echelon have huddled secretly (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS), recklessly placing E-Verify worker identification system in jeopardy. The obnoxious

R-O-P-E Senate group as its being called on the Internet and nationwide, who are marked as Reid, Obama, Pelosi Emmanuel have indifferently pushed American Workers in the background, allowing the millions of illegal aliens to take their jobs. They have driven into the ground amendments from appearing in the final Homeland Security “conference committee” bill. They eradicated–ANY CHANCE–of a Senate’s permanent authorization of the E-Verify program.

They have religiously under-funded, undermined the Senate’s mandate to beef up and complete the final 300 mile Mexican border fence. Then again it was never the original border wall as designed by Rep. Duncan Hunter. Illegal Aliens would have first had to scale the–FIRST–fence, run across the two lane highway for the Border Patrol vehicles, then scale an identical–SECOND FENCE. Under funded and weakened just like E-Verify, the police 287(g) arrest and detainment and ceasing the massive ICE raids. Finally the ROPE group strangled the Senate (already) passed ability of countrywide businesses to run their previous hires employees through E-Verify. So you can guess this is a harbinger to drop on the AMERICAN WORKER YET ANOTHER ULTIMATELY EXPENSIVE BLANKET AMNESTY. THOSE TAXPAYERS WILL BE FORCED TO PICK UP A TRILLION DOLLAR TAB. Be advised that Reid D-NV , Pelosi D-CA have one of the largest population of illegal immigrants in the country, who they are subservient too. Remember to expend your frustration and anger at 202-224-3121on your lawmakers. They are juggling with millions of American Workers job lifeline, by pandering to people who shouldn’t even be here?

MY SUGGESTION IS DON”T BUY ANY SERVICES FROM BUSINESS THAT DOESN’T DISPLAY THE E-VERIFY PLACARD. Remember the real conniving happens in rooms hidden from the public awareness in conference committees. In addition, Remember Harry Reid as an incumbent Senator who carries the blemish of being anti-American Worker, Anti-Sovereignty must not be re-elected. Speaker Pelosi must go? So must Emmanuel? They have proved they cannot be trusted As NUMBERSUSA president says,” With no chance now of E-Verify dying in any minute, because they couldn’t annul the 3 year extension? The pro-amnesty forces no longer can try to use it as a bargaining chip. States, counties, cities and businesses can now be quite confident that they can set policy based on the E-Verify program being around.” IT’S NOT PERMANENT YET THANKS TO ROPE. This group has given preference to illegal workers instead of the 15 million authorized AMERICAN WORKERS. COMPREHEND MORE OF THE CORRUPTION THAT CANNOT BE DENIED BY POLITICIANS AT JUDICIAL WATCH. NUMBERSUSA will explain in detail the consequences of the illegal immigration occupiers. CAPSWEB for OVERPOPULATION information.

Bob's A Cherry Picker

October 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hi Bob,

FWIW, I’m with Chris B. There’s a pretty serious issue out there with regards to children in balloons illegally traversing large swaths of the American West, and the liberal media are not reporting on it…just the blogs. I’m sick and tired of the drive by media in this country not reporting the real issues. Those kids are extremely resourceful, and we need to heighten awareness of them.

Also, nice mugshot in Newsweek this past week. Have you had any more divorces or whip-cream incidents lately?

Have a good weekend.

Hillbilly Deluse

October 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Why not just prosecute people who hire illegals? If the sentence is strong enough, then there will be no jobs, and thus no desire to come to this country illegally.

That will never fly because it makes too much sense. The Democrats see the illegals as future votes and the Republicans see them as cheap labor, therefore nothing will be done.

It amazes me how people who worshipped the law of supply and demand found a way to do an end run around it. When unemployment started to go down here in the mid 80’s wages started to rise. The law of supply and demand, right? Well those same people started to hire illegals to keep from paying the higher wages that were occuring. So they really only worship the law of supply and demand when it is to their benefit.

joe matarotz

October 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Hey, why not make it EASIER to enter the country LEGALLY? The maybe the LEGAL immigrants bring their families with them. They live here, work here, and pay taxes here. Our country was built by immigrants who came here to have a better life. If we don’t continue that, then we face an economic future similar to Japan with it’s shrinking, aging population. I don’t see many immigrants getting jobs as teachers or bank tellers or retail sales people. They take grunt work, menial jobs, and hard labor jobs, and they appear to work pretty hard at them. And I don’t think any of them are stopping work to post on ajc blogs, like the rest of us are.

Shananeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 16th, 2009
2:27 pm

Anita Dunn who is one of Obama’s people and Has been smearing Fox News has some problems. One of her favorite two philosophers EVER is Mao Tse Tung. Thats right a man who is responsible for killing millions and millions of his own people. Fox bad, Mao good? Mao admired, Fox smeared? Something is wrong here. These are the type of people this administration admire, Mao Tse Tung and Fidel Castro. That is scary that these people love dictators. They are a disgrace. This administration is a disgrace.

William

October 16th, 2009
2:31 pm

I just want the elections to hurry-up and get here. It is time for change!

Joan

October 16th, 2009
2:47 pm

I am praying for elections soon too. But, as for illegals, we should bring our troops home, put them on the border with orders to shoot to kill. These people are invading our country illegally. Yes, I know we were all immigrants at one point, but legal immigrants. These people are leeches and parasites, high percentage of thieves, and will never pay enough in taxes to be contributing in any meaningful way.

Mark

October 16th, 2009
3:24 pm

Tn Gelding, just what is “our culture”? I hear that terminology thrown around a lot, but know one seems to know just exactly what it means. Can you enlighten us please?

Fix-It

October 16th, 2009
3:24 pm

Devon,
We are not ALL immigrants here I am American Indian, and I am NOT a bigot, but we need to enforce the laws that are here. Illegal immigration should and could be stopped if they wanted to. We can read a license plate on a car from space but we can’t stop people running over the border, give me a break. If this is our government doing it’s best to stop it illegals then I can’t wait to see what they do for healthcare….. NOT

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

jconservative

October 16th, 2009
9:47 am

Maybe the recession and flu will do it for us. But you’re probably right.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:30 pm

lmno

October 16th, 2009
10:07 am

Why? I bought into the ZPG concept in the ’60s only to see the borders overran. Thus the huge change in demograhics.

William

October 16th, 2009
3:31 pm

Mark,

Our Culture is democracy and not socialism. That is a good start. Our culture can be broken down to a small community living life lke they want until the ACLU comes into view or some liberal organization imposintg socialism. I like to think of it as rugged Americans and not pansy liberals even though Ben Franklin would fit that description. How about “not Europe like” or opposite of the old world.

It is a start and if you are liberal then you must have education so take it from there.

Mark

October 16th, 2009
3:33 pm

NUMBERS USA Britancus! LMAO! That group was founded by JOHN TANTON you moron. The guy is an advocate of EUGENICS! That group is about as credible as you are.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

Buzz G

October 16th, 2009
6:51 am

(I submitted this at 7:29, but it got held in moderation. I was hoping it would get released, but I guess not. I took out the links.)

Both parties have dirty hands on this issue. They looked the other way as the millions came in to satisfy cheap labor demands by industries. When the Clinton administration raided a Vidalia farm Republicans objected.

From the Center of Immigration Studies:

“For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration authorities ever do conduct an industry-wide investigation, which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers, local congressmen from the affected areas will almost certainly call it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia onion industry in Georgia in the late 1990s was not only aborted by Georgia�s Washington delegation, it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers� illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.”

Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff

Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., like any member of Congress, must balance protecting his constituents versus protecting the country — in this case, from a continuing, massive invasion of illegal aliens.

The U.S. senator traveled to Georgia’s onion country in an effort — according to his press release — “to evaluate the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s indiscriminate and inappropriate use of extreme enforcement tactics against Vidalia area onion growers.”

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:38 pm

Jeff

October 16th, 2009
10:35 am

Thanks to the good ole USA, they’re available.

Road Scholar

October 16th, 2009
3:43 pm

Sorry, just got back from work.

TN Gelding: The fine could be used to send them back with the remainder going toward homeland security.

Death portal: Don’t we already have a high unemployment rate? Why can’t the unemployed fill the jobs?

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:44 pm

Devon

October 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

But we got here first and we make the rules that control current immigration policy. NAFTA was supposed to make a better life for them in Mexico. Why hasn’t it? Are they really better off here away from their families, many of them hiding in fear of being caught?

Mark

October 16th, 2009
3:47 pm

William you know as well as I do that that is not the “culture” that Tn Gelding is talking about. If anything the immigrants that come here to work are about as far from socialism as it gets.

Dan Steen

October 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

I’m with Mark on this one. Tn Gelding he called you out and you have yet to give us an explanation of just what OUR culture consists of. We’re waiting. Man up Gelding.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

Brittancus

October 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

Come on. Most of them came in under Republican administrations. Illegals have absolutely no political power. The issue does, however.

Terminator

October 16th, 2009
3:52 pm

Most unemployed Americans are too damn lazy to do the work that these immigrants do.

OneFreeMan

October 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

Now, you want to build a fence. For what, to keep others out or lock Americans in?

Terminator

October 16th, 2009
4:04 pm

You nailed it OneFreeMan. There is actually talk of denying Americans that owe the IRS money the ability to travel outside the country.

ARTC

October 16th, 2009
4:10 pm

If national security is the issue it makes all the sense in the world to move agents to the northern border. If it is cultural security it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what the agenda of the southern border hawks really is.