Speaking of wasteful government spending, remember that big, expensive wall we are putting up on the Mexican border to stem the flow of illegal immigrants? How’s that working out?
And all the while, drug smugglers and illegal immigrants continue to breach the fencing that is up, forcing Border Patrol agents and contractors to return again and again for repairs. The smugglers build ramps to drive over fencing, dig tunnels under it, or use blow torches to slice through. They cut down metal posts used as vehicle barriers and replace them with dummy posts, made from cardboard.
Where fencing is going up, the look varies from place to place. In high-traffic pedestrian areas, such as around ports of entry, the barriers include 10-foot-tall mesh fences, angled to deter climbers, and solid walls made from Army surplus steel originally used to create landing strips during the Vietnam War. There are about 300 miles of these pedestrian barriers up now, built at an average cost of $3.9 million per mile, including land acquisition, according to the Government Accountability Office.
In remote regions where drive-through smuggling is the top concern, the Border Patrol has built vehicular barriers, often steel posts driven into the desert ground at close intervals. The average cost is about $1 million per mile, according to the GAO.
Well, at least we aren’t wasting that money on birth control!