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Work Resumes On Virtual Fence With Mexico 259

Hugh Pickens writes "Work resumed this week on the five-year project to link a chain of tower-mounted sensors and other surveillance equipment over most of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. The network of cameras, radar, and communications gear is intended to speed deployment of US Border Patrol officers to intercept illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and other violators, yielding greater 'operational control' over the vast and rugged area. A $20M pilot project for the Secure Border Initiative, or 'SBInet,' carried out in the Bush administration, was generally considered a colossal IT failure. Since that time the DHS has given the prime contractor, Boeing, another $600M. The government says it has learned many lessons and made many changes in the program since the previous pilot rushed off-the-shelf equipment into operation without testing. The Obama administration has lowered the cost estimate for the 5-year project by $1.1B, to $6.7B, mainly by deferring work on the most difficult 200 miles of the border, in southwest Texas."
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Work Resumes On Virtual Fence With Mexico

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  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:44PM (#27890609) Homepage

    Hey, how about that economic collapse? []

    "A majority of US soldiers in Afghanistan stated the place was 'just fine, really' and they were learning to speak Pashto rather than returning. Canada looked south and snickered, though not very much as they still had Stephen Harper to cope with. The Kingdom of Mexico stated its 'regret' today that it has had to close its borders to American refugees."

    (I'm in Eng-er-lund. We're way more fucked. And we have Gordon Brown.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and if anyone's wondering how fucked we are in England we're this fucked: []

      Yes, that's a real picture and yes, the last European leader who pushed ID cards for every citizen starting with select minorities and immigrants had those banners behind him too.

  • $600 million for towers with cameras and motion detectors. Another slam-dunk pork contract for one of the biggest porkers of them all, Boeing. Can they do better on this than on the famous Dreamliner? Not likly, we might as well just pile up the cash and use it to BBQ hot dogs or something.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by j-stroy ( 640921 )
      Latin American culture has shown itself to be incredibly ingenious with minimal resources. This fence is a boondoggle. I spoke with someone who ran the border several times. One technique is to soak their clothes in a bucket of ice water to get past infrared sensors. The Mythbusters did a great sensor test [], where a simple pane of glass was enough to walk in front of infrared sensors, and a bedsheet over the head hosed ultrasonic sensors at close range. Walking very slowly worked too.
    • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:55PM (#27892139)
      $600,000,000? That's insane. I could easily secure the border for *half* of that. Consider: if there are 24 hours in the day, and 365 days a year, and labor costs 5$ an hour, then it would cost 43,800 dollars to have a section of border guarded 24/7/365, presumably employing three different guys in eight-hour shifts. With $300,000,000, you could employ 6,849 guys at those rates. The U.S.-Mexico border is only 4,000 miles long, so that's more than one guy for every mile of the border (and this is on top of the existing border patrol).

      So now you've got round-the-clock, year-long border security, just by paying a bunch of guys five dollars an hour. Now, I admit that it might sound difficult to find people who would be willing to patrol the border, facing off against smugglers and drug runners, enduring cold nights and scorching hot days, all for just $5.00 an hour. But here's the really ingenious part of the plan: we employ illegal aliens from Mexico to do the work for us!

  • by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:54PM (#27890671)
    A Latina family live near me. Mom, Dad, & a couple of pre-high school boys. They peridocally come through the neighborhood selling fresh, homemade tamales. I always buy (they're delicious) and have even given them a few things, like an unabridged english dictionary for the kids in school.

    These folks are just trying to make a living & put their kids through school so they can have a better life. I guess I'm the only person in the USA who doesn't recognize that to be the horrible crime it is.

    It's not the first time I've been wrong but sometimes I like being wrong. Just ask my ex-wives about that.
    • by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:05PM (#27890725)

      It has nothing to do with any of that. It is about using the proper channels to do it. That's not to say that some people aren't just bigots (some are), or that the immigration system doesn't need some work (it does), but it really isn't about not wanting immigrant to get a a better life. It is about people doing things the legal way (and stopping any other unlawful activities that cross the border).

      • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:44PM (#27891059)

        It is about people doing things the legal way (and stopping any other unlawful activities that cross the border).

        No, it isn't. It's just theater. Here's a question... Prisons. Don't get much more secure than that do you? Are there drugs in prisons? Oh yes, there's plenty. So yeah... good luck stopping illegal traffic. Good luck with that indeed.

      • by bfields ( 66644 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:01PM (#27891213) Homepage

        The "proper channels" set immigration limits drastically to less than what economic forces would set them to.

        If you agree that massive disregard for the law creates problems, then, in tandem with increased enforcement, you should also support a huge increase in the amount of immigration allowed.

        My impression is that most economists believe the eventual result of increased immigration would be an increase in employment and standard of living on *both* sides of the border.

        • The "proper channels" set immigration limits drastically to less than what economic forces would set them to.

          I've always found that to be the kicker to the illegal immigration thing. Sure, what they're doing is illegal, but that doesn't mean it isn't understandable. The proper channels (the immigration system) do need some work, and the illegal immigrants are usually just doing what will be best for them, so I can't say I blame for hopping the border illegally. Nonetheless, there are plenty of otherwise necessary rules that give some people hard times, and we can't just have people doing as they please legal or

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            How much of the problem is people walking over the border, compared to people overstaying their visas?
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 )

              How much of the problem is people walking over the border, compared to people overstaying their visas?

              There aren't a whole lot of problems with people overstaying their visas... at least here in California. Those who are here on visa can be tracked down fairly easily... known locations, pictures, etc. And they do find those people most of the time when a visa expires and there's no application in the system to get an extension or anything. The majority of aliens (I don't care if that word is "politically incorrect"... they're aliens to the USA) in California have no papers whatsoever. There are raids in the

          • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:07PM (#27893583) Homepage Journal

            Nonetheless, there are plenty of otherwise necessary rules that give some people hard times, and we can't just have people doing as they please legal or not because of it.

            There's an ancient military aphorism taught to all soon-to-be-commissioned officers: "Never give an order that you know will not be obeyed." Giving orders that won't be obeyed accomplishes nothing and undermines the officer's authority. Having ignored one command, it becomes easier for the soldiers to ignore others.

            That maxim has a clear corollary in lawmaking: "Never pass a law that huge numbers of people will break". Passing such laws does little or nothing to change human behavior, but does a great deal to undermine the rule of law.

            Given that there are large numbers of people who are willing to take tremendous risks to come to the US and work, and there is no shortage of Americans willing to employ them, setting immigration quotas too low is simply stupidity on the part of our immigration system. It makes no sense to blame the illegals, who are just trying to make a living. It makes some sense to blame their employers, but unless there are plenty of Americans clamoring for the jobs being filled by illegals (and, by and large, there *aren't*. Illegals mostly do work that no one else wants to) then even that is silly.

            No, in this situation the problem is the law.

        • by laddiebuck ( 868690 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @10:22PM (#27893337)
          Let me chip in as a legal immigrant that it is about 20 times harder to get in or live in the US legally than illegally, if at all. I've seen plenty of illegal families, sending their kids to colleges at rates I never had access to, getting scholarships and loans I never was eligible for, skipping taxes I paid duly, getting emergency treatment that cost me a struggle to pay in deductibles and co-pays, getting jobs and graduate programs that rejected me because of my papers, and on top of it all regularly having naive and ill-informed people protesting for their benefit and never mine. And those that were not so lucky, working under minimum wage with no protection at all sorts of jobs. It's truly disgusting what the US is doing, to both of us. They should just have guest worker and exchange student programmes like all the rest of the civilised world.

          But here I am, dreaming away. I ought to get back to my jobs to pay off those debts I incurred, just living in this country legally. I like this country overall, but some things about it are more bizarre than anything Kafka thought up in a fevered dream.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Just like when our ancestors came to America, they all filed the proper paperwork and... oh wait a second...

        • You mean like at Ellis Island? Or did your ancestors cross the land-bridge before the invention of paper?
          • Cut school that day? (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Mathinker ( 909784 )

            It's been a long time since I learned about US history in school but I get the distinct impression you're forgetting something. What what that, again? .... April showers []?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MorePower ( 581188 )
            You mean like at Ellis Island?

            For me, that's the whole issue. When my ancestors arrived, they just showed up at Ellis Island, filled out some paperwork, and were let in. I'd like to see some poor Mexican migrant worker show up at the border crossing and ask for the form to legally enter the USA. I wonder how long it would take for the border agents to stop laughing.

            For all those people who keep saying the illegals should just follow the proper procedure, you need to realized for your "average Jose" there i

          • by happyfeet2000 ( 1208074 ) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @11:30AM (#27896947)
            No, he means like in 1800's Texas where illegals from the US eventually outnumbered Mexicans and with support from the US government declared independence and later joined the US.
        • Just like when our ancestors came to America

          They didn't come to America because there was no America. Kinda hard to legally enter a country that doesn't exist. The analogy you're trying to make doesn't make sense because, even if there was a country that they illegally immigrated into, that still wouldn't have made it right, nor should it have any modern relevance. The founding fathers and many American ancestors had slaves, but it was wrong and their owning slaves has no logical relevance to that. Appeals to whoever are considered fallacies for

      • by vaporland ( 713337 ) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @01:01AM (#27894137) Homepage

        Your comment about proper channels is uninformed.

        My wife is from the UK and I have been through the green card process. We had to hire a lawyer because the rules are so arcane and complex, one little slip-up and you're toast.

        Case in point - our lawyer told us to delay her "final interview", because it would come before our two year wedding anniversary. Why is that important? If you get your green card before your two year wedding anniversary, your green card is only good for three years, and then you have to go through an expensive renewal process.

        If your final interview is after your two year wedding anniversary, your green card is good for ten years.

        Our lawyer changed the interview date, but INS lost the letter. Apparently, this is very common. However, we received a letter in the mail saying that because we did not show up for the interview, my wife had 30 days to leave the country.

        Our lawyer processes hundreds of applications every month, so he personally knows the director of the Immigration services in Norfolk and intervened on our behalf.

        We paid $4000 for the lawyer and $2800 more in application fees and supporting documentational effort.

        If they took all the billions of dollars they are spending on stupid techno-junk to watch the border and instead used it to bolster the infrastructure of the application and review process, and to hire more office workers and inspectors, an immigration application would take four weeks instead of 28 months.

        When it takes 28 months instead of four weeks, it is because someone is profiting from such an arrangement. In this case it is Boeing, and the companies who exploit illegal labor.

    • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:09PM (#27890753)
      i agree, i work in the construction trade and done so for most my adult life, all the mexicans i see are among the best workers there are, they show up everyday on time and do great work and are pleasant people to be around, i can understand wanting to stop the violence on the border but stopping people that want to make an honest living is a crime in it self, i think the playing field in the US should be made level so the US citizens that need/want to work can do so without being undercut by corrupt US businesses that exploit the mexican laborers just to improve their profits = more US citizens out of work...
      • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:36PM (#27890971)

        Problem is , many of these poor people are exploited by organised crime (human traffic is big business). If they're 'lucky', they get across OK; if not, they end up dying in the desert, foced into protitution or working all their life to pay offthe 'debt' they owe.

        The trafficers are the bastards we need to stop.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by earlymon ( 1116185 )

          But hey, you gotta love the Virtual Fence. Higher tech means it will take high tech - beginning with bribes - to overcome it.

          So, if what you say is true, then the Virtual Fence is lead-pipe cinch guarantee to make the problem worse.

        • by bfields ( 66644 )
          Yup. And the way to do that is to provide more *legal* routes to immigration and to starve the traffickers of their customers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Darby ( 84953 )

          The trafficers are the bastards we need to stop.

          No, you just acted like you were taking one step in the right direction and then failed to actually do it.

          The only reason the trafficers have the ability to be bastards is America's idiotic immigration system. Fix that and you fix the problem.

          We already are going with your approach, and that's why it's such a complete disaster.

          Same exact problem with drug laws. There's nothing to be gained by our current policies on either of these issues, except for the scum

        • The trafficers are the bastards we need to stop.

          Yes, that is a big problem here in Australia too. The trafficers operate in Indonesia. They ship people south on unsafe boats with the intention of getting caught by our navy, so that they can apply for refugee status. A lot of people have died, its really tragic.

          Many of the people trying to come over seem to be from places like Iraq and Afghanistan. They sit in Indonesia for years waiting for an opportunity. The silly thing is that Indonesia is not such a bad place to live. If they got together as a comm

      • by hemp ( 36945 )

        And the cool thing is that when they get hurt on the job site, you can just drive them to the county hospital and drop them off. No need to worry about that expensive wokerman's compensation insurance.

    • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
      Being against immigration is not a sensible position. Immigrants are often great contributors to American life. Being against illegal immigration is very sensible, and an entirely different issue.

      I feel that many people deliberately conflate the two, in order to make border defense seem like a racist or xenophobic idea. It's not. Curbing illegal immigration would probably result in substantially increasing the legal immigration quotas.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Clearly you've not had to go through the hassles of legal immigration and can't see why those of us that have get fucked off when a load of people decide the rules don't apply to them.

      Those people who have to work low paying jobs get pissed off too because some employers rather pay less and deal with people's poor english rather than playing by the rules.

      Quite frankly if we're happy to just let the poor flood in from Mexico then we might as well remove H1-B visa limits too and let companies bring in a
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:35PM (#27890957)

      These folks are just trying to make a living & put their kids through school so they can have a better life.

      They sure are, that's why I support fully a greater degree of legal immigration from Mexico. But it's also why illegal immigrants should not be given amnesty, and the ones that are here now should be sent back without exception.

      Consider this, illegal immigrants make it much harder for people like you describe, to come here legally. Why should people have a shot at a better life by jumping the line ahead of people who are trying to do it right?

      That to me is why fundamentally I support locking down the border as tightly as possible, because the process to be a part of America should be as fair as we can make it and not just for those willing to pay a lot of money to a lot of shady people just to get here.

      Again, this is obviously in conjunction with a wider open immigration process that would allow a faster flow of legal immigrants - from all over, not just Mexico.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djupedal ( 584558 )

      >These folks are just trying to make a living & put their kids through school so they can have a better life.

      When you've had your SSN used by one of them and your wages have been garnered by the IRS, ask them if you can live with them...

    • by earlymon ( 1116185 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:45PM (#27891063) Homepage Journal

      I agree. And how about those latest budget cuts? []'s_new_'black_book'

      Each year, the administration releases its federal-spending blueprint -- usually in a series of phone book-sized tomes that must surely weigh eight to 10 pounds. And of course, the first thing most of us look for is what programs are slated for big gains -- or excisions. Well, team Obama made looking for the big cuts a little easier this year. This morning it issued a 120-page volume: "Terminations, Reductions, and Savings: Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2010."

      A lot respondents are making hay over legal vs. illegal immigrants. Fine. But look at our real history of our immigration laws. You'd think it would be driven by many good things - such as what our infrastructure can support and so forth. And the pundits would have you believe that. It's not so.

      First, we have people complaining about illegals using Social Security. Kindly note that the fossil records clearly show those illegals have paying into Social Security - something the pundits don't want to mention.

      They're over-running our infrastructure! Yeah. It's not the white suburban kids pushing meth, it's not the middle-aged housewives enjoying a joint in the middle of the day, it's the not smokers, it's not the cops over-reacting to anyone near a .08 a block from their home, it's not that the insurance companies and HMOs have taken over what a doctor can do in his/her own judgement, it's not that we let the S&Ls and Enrons screw us out of real jobs, it's not that our trade and tariff policies are so fucking complicated that a gaggle of Ph.D.s still can't explain it to anyone reasonably intelligent, and it's not that all of our taxes are regressive, and it's not that the biggest corporations pulling in the most money pay the absolute minimum (if not zero) in actual money turned over as taxes - and it's not as if the whole fucking engine isn't powered by crooked politicians.

      The real problem is those pesky, illegal Mexicans - with their strong sense of family and religion and culture and a desire to live outside of poverty, with a deep fear of the law because of where our Immigration Dept. will send them back to live if caught.

      Oh yeah - illegal != legal immigration ... sure, that's the real issue. And I'm a monkey's uncle.

      • A while back Cringley blogged about a visit from the FBI, seems they wanted to know how he was so certain that there were 18 million people using SSN's used by multiple people. He explained to them he had a source that worked in a credit agency and the data was the result of simple and routine data-mining. It certainly strain our credulity that Equifax can do this routinely, but the SSN admin, FBI and NSA can't. Seems obvious to me that if the same SSN is reporting income and tax withholding from both New Y

        • Yes, identity theft is a problem. It has existed long before computers and long before our so-called border problems. I knew a Mafioso in Detroit with 15 Social Security numbers, 40 years ago.

          As my signal-processing mentor once taught me - never look for a signal in noise - you will always find exactly what you're looking for.

          If today's illegals have a high rate of abusing Social Security numbers, it's because they're buying from an established industry. I'd say it's that established industry that's the

          • No the point is there are 18 million people paying Social Security taxes with no prospect of ever collecting benefits; the government has little incentive of correcting this situation. We're going to the hard part and spend $6.7 billion on a virtual fence to stop illegal immigrants, but we're going to skip the easy and inexpensive part of data-mining existing data.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "I support legal immigration, but not illegal" is it's just a cover for saying "I don't support *more* legal immigration."

      Frankly this is all really about freedom. It should be as hard to live and work in the US if you're from Mexico or Canada as it is to live and work in New York if your from Alabama (valid ID, no court orders against you). The EU lets their people have freedom of movement and labor among the Union countries and it works well for them. The NAFTA countries should have that same freedom. It

      • That's a good idea, if you're stupid. Let's open the borders more than they already are to a flood of poor people. It's not like importing tens of millions of poor people into a wealthier country will impact the standard of living in the wealthier country, right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yeah but the EU gets to choose the countries which join. If Morocco and Algeria join the EU I would agree that Mexicans should be able to freely move to the US.
    • by uncqual ( 836337 )
      You don't say if this family is in the U.S. legally or not so I would assume they (like many Latina families) are in the U.S. legally.

      So, I'm assuming that their actions that someone might consider a "horrible crime" is that they don't have proper business licenses, registrations, or inspections to sell food? Or, perhaps, that they don't collect sales tax (if your area has such a thing)?

      If this is the case, they should not be allowed to sell food -- any more than Burger King should be allowed to sell prep
    • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @09:47PM (#27893159)

      The problem is quite simple really: we cannot have uncontrolled imigration into a welfare state .

      The United States is not generally lumped into the same category as the European Union states with their extensive social safety nets, but we are still at least 40%+ socialist here in the United States with massive social security, medicare, and medicaid entitlement programs (among others). Even now the big government entitlement spending of the past ala the "Great Society", which put us firmly on the road towards the massive defecits that we have been piling up over the last several decades, is beginning to stage a comeback with Obama and the Democrats now firmly grasping the rudder and steering us left. Of course, economics tells us that something will have to give: either we control immigration strictly (as the Europeans do) or we abandon the welfare mentality and open wide the gates to anyone who wants to come, work hard, and make it by their own hard work and initiative BUT without any safety net for those who fail. Why can't we have it both ways you ask? There aren't enough resources on the planet for everyone to enjoy the lifestyle of the average American and live in North America so somebody is going to have to do with less or without and there are really only two ways to decide who gets what: fair competition in free markets OR violence (often perpetrated by the state in the name of "fairness" to redistribute to everyone an equal portion of misery). Personally, I prefer the former rather than the later, but I predict that we here in the United States are going to learn the hard way (again) that socialism doesn't work and neither does borrowing your way out of debt.

    • That's nice (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Now please address the hundreds of thousands of illegal alien gangbangers who commit a huge amount of violent crime in the US. In detail, please tell us what should we do about it, and how you can tell by merely looking who is a good illegal alien and who isn't. And also make a case for raising local property taxes to pay for all of this, make the case why we should pay for people here illegally who in no way are paying enough in taxes to offset the increased needs of local communities with increased hospit

  • that this system would work to stop marijuana smuggling across the Canadian border too... with all the mountains and trees. Hahahaha.
    • by inKubus ( 199753 )

      that this system would work to stop marijuana smuggling across the Canadian border too... with all the mountains and trees. Hahahaha.

      There's a pretty easy way to stop that, and that's to legalize growing it in the U.S. It practically is already because the Justice Department has made it their lowest priority.

      • Pretty soon they aren't going to do much about it anyway, because of the new political flap coming up... states are fighting the Federal government's claim to be able to regulate just about anything under the "Interstate Commerce Clause", along with a Supreme Court decision back in the 30s that interpreted that clause extremely broadly.

        There are some active attacks against that old SCOTUS decision going on now, and there is a good chance that it will not stand. And if it doesn't: if something originates
  • Thank God, (Score:3, Funny)

    by Vertana ( 1094987 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @03:58PM (#27890695) Homepage

    for this fence! Cause they took our jebs! ...relax and realize I'm kidding.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bloopie ( 991306 )

      Cause they took our jebs!

      They can have him. Does anyone really want a third Bush presidency?

  • by atlastiamborn ( 1252206 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:16PM (#27890807)
    How long until it's stolen? Seriously.
    • My father worked for RCA at a remote location in South Jersey (Gibsboro). One week, they put up a chain link fence around the place. Over the weekend, the fence disappeared. I guess "Soprano Fencing" was a bad choice of a contractor.

      "Hey, Tony, whadda I do wid dis fence?"

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:29PM (#27890901)

    If you can see it, and it's there, it's real.

    If you can see it, but it's not there, it's virtual.

    If you can't see it, and it's not there, it's gone.

    Which applies to the state of this fence?

  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:33PM (#27890931)
    Billions of dollars for contractors. The answer to illegal immigration is simple. Jail the employers of illegal immigrants. Presto! No jobs for illegals equals vastly reduced illegal immigration. The local chicken processing plant here actually warns their workers not to show up on days when the INS is coming. Their management should go to jail but nooooo.... can't have people with money forced to obey the law. That'll never do.
    • The local chicken processing plant here actually warns their workers not to show up on days when the INS is coming.

      Take a page from Arizona and enact a Business Death Penalty.

      Then make it possible to prosecute doubly for the violation and the attempt to to hide it.

    • Jailing the employers of illegal immigrants is a pretty ignorant and useless "remedy" for the problem of illegal immigration. Nobody is hiring "illegal immigrants", they are hiring legal immigrants insofar as the employer is obligated to determine such things. In all the environs I have been in where there were illegal immigrants working, they always had papers sufficient to satisfy the obligation of the employer in determination of their eligibility to work. The employer may strongly suspect they are ille

      • How's Pennsylvania for you at Grigsby & Cohen?

        Seriously, they're the ones who benefit from overlooking the law and the ones who push for lax enforcement.

      • There has actually been numerous attempts to force employers with over X number of employees to match names and social security numbers with an electronic search of the SS system. Several groups are heavily resistant.. I would like, however, to ensure that if someone says they are me, that they prove they are me...

  • The border patrol has approx 25,000 officers to cover the 2,000 mile border. Assuming each officer covers a 40-hour week, thats roughly 3 officers per mile. These guys must have awefully poor eyesight! You can't even make the case that one man isn't enough since you have another 29 within a 5-minute response time. Why the hell are we spending a huge chunk of money for a _detection_ system that still does nothing to prevent the intrusions? 6.7 billion would double the existing border patrol levels for
    • "6.7 Billion is a lot of labor hours" It is, but they could save big bucks by employing illegal foreign workers.
    • Your error is in assuming that the border patrol is evenly distributed. I'd think places like Tijuana/San Diego could have 50-100 officers a mile, and need them. The actual road crossings tend to have significant delays getting through.
      • True. One of the biggest problems is not keeping an easily patrolled buffer zone. A buffer zone and some towers with snipers would be pretty effective. Think prison yards with an inner and out fence line, where anyone between the fence lines is fair game.
    • The border patrol has approx 25,000 officers to cover the 2,000 mile border.

      Think again. Think harder.

      [ U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP] is responsible for guarding nearly 7,000 miles of land border the United States shares with Canada and Mexico and 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding the Florida peninsula and off the coast of Southern California. The agency also protects 95,000 miles of maritime border in partnership with the United States Coast Guard.

      [There are] more than 17,000 CBP Bor

      • Sorry, I quoted numbers from the article which stated 2000-miles along the mexican border and 25000 agents. The majority of the agents are along the Mexican border. Not a whole lot along the Canada border, and almost none in Fl as the CBP website would imply.

  • This will protect us from all virtual Mexicans...

  • Most of those illegally crossing the boarder are looking for jobs, right? So why not require the use of eVerify, and have a meaningful system of identification, and mandatory jail sentences for anybody hiring an illegal immigrant. For most Mexicans, if they can not get jobs in the USA, there is no reason to come here.

    There is also the GWB solution: make the US such an awful place to live, that nobody would want to come here, illegally or otherwise.

    • "One Riot, One Ranger" Should be more than enough to do the job []
    • There is also the GWB solution: make the US such an awful place to live, that nobody would want to come here, illegally or otherwise.

      I wonder if the US could improve the situation in Mexico by creating a new type of visa. The idea is that you could live in the US as long as you want, but only 50% of the time. This would encourage migrants to divide their time between Mexico and the US. There would be more cultural exchange and the people who have (partly) migrated north would have a good reason to make Mexico a good place to live. Ultimately this might result in fewer people wanting to leave the country.

  • Start setting up manufacturing capacity in Mexico to make things like kitchenware, toys, computer keyboards and other things that are currently being made in China. I dont know what sort of wages you could pay a Mexican vs what you could pay someone in China to do the same job but I suspect that once you factor in the boat trip from China vs the truck ride from Mexico, the total cost to produce, say, a plastic container in Mexico would be cheaper than producing the same container in China. Assuming that is

  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @08:49PM (#27892875)

    Since illeal immigrant are getting health care, police protection, (add a number of government supplied services here) anyway.. just take the plunge, make them citizens... and then proceed to tax the bejesus out of them.


  • Or I shall be forced to take your picture again.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll