And now, Bush has scaled back even his "virtual" border fence plan, claiming that America will not see much security along the southern border until late 2011 at the earliest.
The "virtual fence" has been virtually eliminated.
According to the Washington Post and the Washington Times, a measly 28-mile-long border pilot program has indicated that even the sensors and surveillance gear -- the crux of the "virtual fence" -- will not be effective any time soon. One might think that after the White House gave Boeing over $85 million dollars of taxpayer money to create the virtual fence pilot program we'd have something to show for it. But that would incorrectly infer that this White House actually wants a secure border.
Boeing and White House officials now claim that they might have 100 miles of a "virtual" fence by 2011 -- which leaves about 1800 miles of unsecured border (if one accepts that "virtual" fencing provides any security whatsoever).
The White House claims that it is still trying to build 370 miles of a "pedestrian fencing" -- whatever that is -- and another 300 miles of vehicle barriers. There are numerous conflicting reports on how much of this has actually been created, but the White House claims these two projects will be completed by the end of this year. Of course, the General Accountability Office -- the non-partisan research center for Congress -- notes that DHS is likely not going to achieve this goal because DHS officials "do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land." Furthermore, the "virtual border" plan was implemented with "minimum input" from Border Patrol agents.
In other words, the designed-to-fail border fence has barely gotten off the ground. And you can be assured that when it comes to the "cost to acquire the land" the White House will be dragging its feet. This is going to require the governmental purchase of private lands through a legal process called eminent domain. Such a process rightfully conjures up concerns about governmental intrusion into private property rights, but it has been done for centuries, and the process is actually pretty easy for the government as the courts will be quite deferential to the feds. The cost of the land is calculated as the actual market value to the owner, not by how much it would be worth to the government. And since Bush seems ready to send $1.4 Billion to Mexico, as noted in a recent post, there's every reason to believe that landowners will be reasonably compensated. Nevertheless, it's likely that this White House, with the goal of discrediting border security, will make the eminent domain process as difficult as possible on landowners.
As explained in previous posts, the goal of the Bush Administration has been to discredit actual security whenever and wherever possible. Their plan is simple: haphazardly enforce immigration laws, cause as much conflict within the business community as possible, do a poor job at enforcing border security, and then announce, "Hey, we tried the enforcement-only approach, and it doesn't work; let's try an amnesty now!"
The White House hopes that it can trick the People into supporting an amnesty through this method, but it isn't going to work.
The only conclusion a rational person can take from this is that virtual fencing doesn't work. It's time to demand ACTUAL fencing! It's time to construct REAL fences!
Otherwise, at a rate of 1 million illegal aliens entering the country each year (the generally accepted estimate), the United States will continue to see 2,740 illegal aliens entering the country EVERY DAY.