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

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
4:23 pm

Terminator

October 16th, 2009
3:52 pm

Most of them are hard workers. Like I said, I’m torn on this issue. I said “IF” we want to honor our heritage and preserve our culture.

It’s basically baseball, hotdogs and apple pie; respect for the law; individual freedom; individual responsibility; good citizenship; fairness; human rights; do unto others; care for the sick; respect and care for the elderly; housing, feeding and clothing the poor; nurturing our children; maintaining our property; respect and tolerance for other cultures; strong work ethic; defending our sovereignty.

ARTC

October 16th, 2009
4:39 pm

Tn Gelding some of the things you mentioned above are primary traits of most of these immigrants. Work ethic, family, God, human rights and the list goes on and on. All cultures and nations share those traits you listed above. Some to a much greater degree than we do. And I hate to break it to you but hot dogs and apple pie is not an American innovation. Brought here by immigrants. Lasagna and tacos are just as American if that is your benchmark criteria. And if you can validate that all of those that fit in your cultural model are any more respectful of the law you are more than welcome to tackle that one. Driving on Atlanta’s streets and highways shoots that one all to hell. And I bet the vast majority of tax cheats in this country aren’t in the same income bracket that these immigrants are. As for sovereignty, home grown terrorist and the white supremacist movement is a far greater threat than Latino immigrants. Just ask the FBI.

Terminator

October 16th, 2009
4:40 pm

ARTC he’s not going to come right out and say they ain’t white.

Jefferson

October 16th, 2009
5:09 pm

Marines on the southern border, Army on the northern border, Navy on each coast, Air Force bombing terrorists in the middle east.

We don’t need no stinking fences.

clyde

October 16th, 2009
5:12 pm

Why do some of you on here perpetuate the myth that Americans won’t do physical labor?

Aborigine

October 16th, 2009
6:11 pm

Mark, If you want an answer to your inquiry about “what defines our culture”, just take a short road trip up to Dalton. Dalton is a college textbook case study in the effects of illegal immigration(Dalton has the highest concentration of illegal aliens in Georgia, and probably the Southeast. Keep in mind that our total lack of immigration enforcement enabled a half dozen greedy, shortsighted men,(the CEO’s of the major carpet mills), to totally annihilate an historic 160 year old North Georgia town for personal gain. Many posters here have perpetuated the “they only take the hard jobs that Americans won’t do” myth. That theory can quickly be dispelled by spending a few hours in Dalton. Every business in Dalton is directly or indirectly dependent on the payroll of the town’s only industry(the carpet industry). When most of this money ended up in the hands of people who could not speak our language, all of the local enterprises were forced to hire people who could speak ours and theirs. Today, you cannot walk into a business in Dalton without being greeted by a Hispanic speaking employee(private sector or government). Hispanic opportunist have flocked to Dalton from all over the US. They don’t even bother to change the names on the 100’s of Hispanic taxis(like the “Rio Verde” Taxi). We now have Hispanic doctors groups, attorneys, real estate brokers, etc., etc., etc. Dalton Public Schools, K-12, are now 2/3 Hispanic. You have the highest probablility of being involved in an auto accident with someone without a Drivers License or Insurance in Georgia. The list of changes goes on and on. In the near future the Hispanics will control the town politically, and I predict that the small number of the town’s original inhabitants who remain will then also take flight. This will constitute a total displacement of the town’s culture and heritage.

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
9:56 pm

They ain’t caucasian, but that has nothing to do with it. Good folks is good folks, but this old Earth and this country only have so many resources. One big difference is family size. They would be better off and we would be better off if they would stay in their own countries and work to improve living conditions there.

Michael

October 17th, 2009
12:06 am

Too much sausage and I want eggs.

Stephen

October 17th, 2009
2:04 am

The border fence is NOT a white elephant. It is working and it’s not even halfway finished! Illlegal aliens are being forced to cross further out into the desert. Less of them are willing to make the dangerous trip. Our government promised 800 miles of double layered fence. They’ve only completed approximately 275 miles of SINGLE layered fence. Don’t you dare say they’ve built the darn thing and it doesn’t work! Build the entire 800 miles of DOUBLE layered fence and then get back to us about the effectiveness. Americans must demand a ZERO tolerance towards illegal immigration. Illegal immigration costs the US more than 350 BILLION annually. Illegal foreign nationals are invading our country by the millions, this is an act of war! We will NEVER accept another amnesty. ILLEGAL ALIENS GO HOME!

Terminator

October 17th, 2009
2:59 am

Who is we Stephen? You and da boyz wearing the hoods? WE need more of them and fewer of you and others of your ilk.

Sadtoseeitthisway

October 17th, 2009
4:21 am

Where was our ?leadership? in the last 20-25 years when all “eager to work” people came to our country. As thousands poured into the heartland of America, we Americans asked, Why are they here? Did we ever get to vote on this? In our youth we were proud to serve our country in the armed forces. We were sent to far away countries to defend their citizens against their past and present enemies. Our military with its superior intelligence and weapons has intimidated those people in their part of the world. In the long term is it worth it? In the meantime. Those who need “a better life” have simply come to America, thinking that we didn`t care enough to keep outsiders out. After all, we were too busy fighting other peoples battles and didn`t listen or even ask what Americans would like our own military forces to do. Before we send our protectors halfway across the world, shouldn`t they be used to secure our own borders before worrying about other country`s problems.

Bitter EX Democrackkk

October 17th, 2009
6:19 am

Americans for LEGAL IMMIGRATION http://www.ALIPAC.US support them!

‘The tree of LIBERTY must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants’…
Thomas Jefferson.

the rEVOLution builds … people are restless…illegals are testing us…

PRAY for Impeachment! … or whatever it takes to clean out the District of Criminals!

Wheels

October 17th, 2009
5:19 pm

I VOTE FOR JOAN’S POINT OF VIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

randall duncan

October 17th, 2009
6:23 pm

the real threat from a porous border? anybody who can get to Mexico can cross. check the numbers of Chinese, Cubans and Africans who are joining the migration. the next gang of 19 terrorists won’t be here on visas. they will have walked among the Mexicans into our homeland.

Mrs. Norris

October 18th, 2009
2:51 am

Well Randall, maybe it will make you feel better to know it’s a lot harder to get into Mexico than it is to get out. They won’t even let in South Americans. Do you think they’re going to let in Chinese, Cubans and Africans? No, it would be easier for them to get into Canada. Just ask someone from Honduras.

I hope Alice is right about the marijuana thing. I’ll go to Mexico and start a plantation. I’ll be the Mexican R. J. Reynolds and all the unemployed Americans can come and work on my plantation.

Michael H. Smith

October 18th, 2009
6:47 am

Brittancus
October 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

They have religiously under-funded, undermined the Senate’s mandate to beef up and complete the final 300 mile Mexican border fence.

Reply: Therein lies the greatest boondoggle of all: The “continuous undermining” of not only the construction of this border fence but the entire Constitutional role immigration – LAWFUL IMMIGRATION – was mandated to serve, which this blog article and many of the comments directed toward its’ contents further propagates.

Devon
October 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

Reply: We are entirely a nation of laws!

TnGelding
October 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

Reply: There is nothing to be torn between. Name one nation that receives more legal immigrants every year than the United States please?

joe matarotz
October 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Reply: When reality speaks honestly to the truth it will likely be found that no other nation on this earth naturalizes more foreign born citizens than the United States of America.

There is nothing to be made easier. Again, name one nation that receives more legal immigrants every year than the United States please?

Secondly, no loyal U.S. Citizen should ever show preferential favor towards his or her own ancestral linage.

GEORGE AMERICAN
October 16th, 2009
9:58 am

Reply: We need to keep out all who would invade this country via any illegal means and return all who are residing presently in this nation illegally without any exceptions through any means or form of amnesty.

In conclusion Bob Barr, if one legitimately wondered, their pondering would ask why so many Americans would seek to continue promoting the unlawful immigration policies that have plagued and darn near destroyed this nation throughout its history repeatedly?

The 230 year-old White Elephant in the room, in this debate, remains the fence-wall of unenforced laws. Which as it appears, never goes unfunded or underfunded regardless of the socio-economic times.

Reader

October 18th, 2009
8:05 am

This is the only truly shovel ready project.

Dawgdom

October 18th, 2009
8:24 am

land mines would do the trick!

Conservative White Male

October 18th, 2009
9:40 am

Aboriginie your post really struck a nerve with me. They have invaed your town and ran all the good americans out. I gather the dalton pd is not worth a durn thing letting all those illegal cabs and dr offices flourish out in the open.

I remember my granddad talking about how they would have just went and asked the mexicans to “politely” leave. cept then they was colored. if they did not leave they got a call from the Concerned Citizens Council, after that they disappeared or left.

Im tempted to get big and lil cletus and hop in my pickup an come up there today and start something with those illegals, makes my blood boil. They lucky gas is so high or I would be on 75N like I was Dale Jarrett

Dunwoody Mike

October 18th, 2009
11:34 am

C. W. M.,

The 1850’s just called, wondering when you were coming back.

Mutts R Stupid

October 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

We don’t need a fence, just a few thousand hunting towers, to be manned by volunteer hunters with deer rifles. Let’s set a bag limit on five male and three female wetbacks per day, no age limit. Yes, trophies can and should be mounted on boards and hung over the fire place.

dewstarpath

October 18th, 2009
3:26 pm

- Buzz G has no point. Devon does.

I grew up near the US border with Mexico. The vast
majority of illegal immigrants are refugees from Central
America who are smuggled in, not terrorists. The violence
throughout Mexico in recent years has resulted in an
increase, but the majority of the weapons seized at the
US checkpoints that are used to commit the violence
come from HERE.

Mostly I agree with Jim Henderson. The cameras that Mr.
Barr says can be disabled by sandstorms are older infrared
types. Those can be replaced by Nano-SAR technology.
Basically it’s a form of radar with enough beam elements
to produce a TV- type image that can peer through cloud
layers and other opaque phenomena in the atmosphere.
UAVs and satellite imagery can assist in the coverage,
since those systems are already in use.

jt

October 18th, 2009
3:37 pm

“It doesn’t bother me, because we are going to do the same thing,” said Arpaio, whose deputies had arrested 16 people by Friday evening on unspecified charges. “I am the elected sheriff. I don’t take orders from the federal government.”

That last sentence is the key to all.

esa

October 18th, 2009
5:16 pm

Hurry up and finish the fence. With the economic downturn, the flow of illegal immigrants has reversed. They are all going back to Mexico. We need to fence in all the cheap labor before it escapes.

TnGelding

October 19th, 2009
8:15 am

jt

October 18th, 2009
3:37 pm

He’d better be careful or he’ll be taking meals from the fed…. in prison.

Black Saint

October 20th, 2009
1:57 pm

Our government fails the most basic and primary task & duty of government, to protect this Nation and its Citizens from invasion and enforce its laws.
Our Government, past & present, Republican & Democrat, have allowed the invasion of 20 to 30 million criminals and uneducated peons which is the largest invasion of any Nation, at any time, by any means & in direct violation of Article IV Section IV of our Constitution.
This refusal to abide by our Constitution or enforce our Immigration Laws should be classified as Treason of the most foul kind, & as grounds for impeachment & trials for Treason!
Not only have they allowed the invasion, they force American tax payers to pay Billions on Billions of dollars to provide Welfare, Prison cells, Educate the invaders numerous children, and free medical care, at the same time the invading horde break numerous laws and massive document fraud, & are destroying our schools, hospitals, communities, culture and standard of living while Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens at an rate the terrorist can only dream about.
Recent statements in Mexico from both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary something needs to be done. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers, and civilians,” Hillary whined.
But no mention, whines, concern or care that their refusal to stop the Massive Invasion of Illegal Aliens pouring across our borders or enforce our immigration laws that causes an estimated 25 Americans deaths per day and 10,s of thousands victims of Assault, Robberies, Rapes, Identify thief, and other assorted crimes committed by the invading horde of Illegal Aliens from Mexico on American citizens each year!
It is a telling indictment & shows their Empathy & Compassion of our Politicians & their priorities are not for the American citizens when they express more concern over Mexicans deaths mostly connected to the Drug trade, than the murders, havoc & crimes of Illegal Aliens against American Citizens!
The Democrats view the invading horde of Criminals and Uneducated third world rejects as Undocumented Welfare Democrats & the Republicans as Undocumented Slave labor for their Pay Masters in the Chamber of Commerce & Businesses!
Most of our Politicians in Wash. DC are wading knee deep in innocent American blood and suffering because they put Self Interest ahead of the interest of American Citizens & the future of this Nation!
The Citizens of this Nation have not sacrificed with blood, sweat & tears for over 200 years & obeyed the Laws of the land, paid the taxes, and fought the wars & built this Nation to see Corrupt politicians turn this Nation into the United States of Mexico without a shot being fired, to serve their demented, nefarious goals and lust for power!

Black Saint

October 20th, 2009
2:02 pm

Meantime, with 15 million Americans without jobs, the invasion continues, no Liberal Politician will address the 500 pound gorilla in the room, and millions of invading, plundering, welfare loving, prolific breeding, Illegal Aliens taking millions of jobs that should be American jobs and 100,s billions of dollars in social services that should be for American citizens!

One cannot be political correct and admit that Illegal Aliens are an large part of the problems in this Nation.

Their negative impact extends to every area from Sub-par loans & defaults, Underground economy, Massive document fraud, Lower standard of living, Crime, Overflowing prisons , Bankrupted hospitals, Failing schools, Property Taxes, Insurance costs, Environment, Culture, Welfare costs, Welfare fraud, SS fraud, Voter fraud, Disrespect for our laws & country, our Constitution against invasion and even Balance of payments occurring from oil and other imports to support the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens in this country!

One has to only look at Calif. which is basically mostly an Spanish speaking, Bankrupt state that cannot afford to provide Welfare, Schooling, Medical, Prison cells etc. for millions of MS-13 Gang bangers, Drug dealers, Rapist and other assorted Criminals and uneducated, Prolific breeding, third world rejects from Mexico!

In a very few years it will be impossible to see where Mexico ends and Calif. begins as both will be an third world cesspool!

Failure to secure our borders and reward the Invading horde for their invasion and their relatives in an never ending chain with American Citizenship is nothing less than committing National Suicide & will assure our future is an over populated Spanish speaking third world Nation that is an Cesspool of Corruption, Crime, Poverty and Misery modeled on Mexico!

DEC

October 20th, 2009
5:33 pm

Of course the wall got screwed up, our government built it. They can’t do anything right. And you want them to do healthcare too?? Put Sheriff Joe Arpaio has head of ICE and majority of the illegals would be gone in 5 years. Immigration reform will never pass because 80% of Americans don’t support it. Enforce the laws and deport those who broke the law. Simple. Thats probalby why the gov’t won’t do it !

Stephen

October 21st, 2009
4:03 am

Terminator: The “we” I speak of are the American people. Illegal aliens are NOT immigrants. Immigrants respect our laws, assimilate into our culture and desire to become an American. Illegal aliens break our laws, remain loyal to their country of origin and drain our resources meant for citizens like parasites. There is no such thing as a law abiding illegal alien. American patriots will NEVER accept another amnesty. Mexico is a much bigger threat to the US than Iraq or Afghanistan ever was. There are traitors in our government that don’t give a damn about this country or its people. Vote out all incumbents and take back our country. Mexico must stop encouraging their people to break our immigration laws or face armed conflict with the US. If we are going to have their people here, we may as well invade Mexico and have the land and resources as well. Adios Mexico!

TnGelding

October 21st, 2009
9:45 am

Stephen

October 21st, 2009
4:03 am

It’s that loyalty we should be very concerned about.

tom

October 28th, 2009
11:25 am

You idiots make no sense. It was mainly a conservative idea to begin with to build the border fence. Bush went against his own party in the pursuit of comprehensive immigration reform. The Democrats didn’t want a fence. Now, you complain that the fence costs too much and doesn’t work, and it’s all an Obama conspiracy.