New Border Technology Slow To Be Deployed

WASHINGTON (AP) – Technology to replace a now defunct virtual fence project at the Mexican border likely won’t be fully in place for at least another decade, maybe longer, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Richard Stana, director of homeland security and justice issues at the GAO, said Tuesday that the mix of cameras, radar and other sophisticated technology will first be deployed to the border in Arizona over the next two years. The technology mix is expected to be fully deployed in that state by 2015 or 2016.

Stana, who testified Tuesday before a House subcommittee on border and maritime security, said the security project would next expand to California, New Mexico and Texas but isn’t likely to be fully in place until at least 2021, and possibly not until 2016.

The new technology plan replaces a virtual fence project that cost nearly $1 billion before the Obama administration scrapped it earlier this year after repeated delays and glitches. It will be added to stationary cameras, underground sensors and other security infrastructure already in place.

Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, balked at the idea that the high tech gear, which he said is already available to the military, would take more than a decade to be deployed.

“You are talking 10 to 15 years. It took us a decade to put a man on the moon,” McCaul said. “I don’t understand why it takes so long. You have a crisis going on down there. Everyone knows it. We know how dangerous it is in Mexico, we know how dangerous it is on the border. Why can’t we ramp up this process?”

Mark Borkowski, Customs and Border Protection assistant commissioner for technology innovation and acquisition, said the new equipment could be bought more quickly if Congress allocated the money — the Arizona project is expected to have a price tag of about $755 million — but where to put what equipment has not been determined.

“The question is where do we put the first ones and why do we put them there,” Borkowski said.

He said Homeland Security officials are putting the new equipment in Arizona first because it is busiest Border Patrol sector in the country.

The virtual fence, which was officially abandoned in January, was initiated in 2005 and was originally expected to be fully in place by this year. Instead, only about 53 miles of operational “virtual fence” was put in place in Arizona at a cost of about $15 million a mile.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Rodney says:

    Machine guns are not new tech !

  2. darrell says:

    THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!! the easiest, cheapest and best solution to the entire border, drug, illegal alien issue can easily be solved with resorces that are mostly allready paid for. its called troops. they are allready in the budget. troops coming home can be rotated along the U.S. border with Mexico while funding that has been wasted in the middle east goes to build the infrastructure needed to permanently house troops and support personnel in the future. this keeps our border secure, reduces the drug flow in, weapons flow out, the inflow in illegal aliens, creates thousands on jobs for americans building these facilities. in addition the you get the benefit of new revenue for local economies, great security and improved productivity as each issue solved starts to reap its rewards. our military has rotated troops on and off borders for over 60 years in europe and korea and the system works fine. this isnt new technology. this plan will work and can begin implementation as early as this year.

    1. PR Steele says:

      Darrell is right about that one, It’s been 3 decades of being over run by illegal aliens and gun/drug runners. The government does not care to STOP IT !
      Looking at all of the money wasted on the fence project. Millions/Billions $
      ” IT STOP’S NO ONE ! ”
      All the tax money spend in giving social services to illegal aliens and AMERICAN CITIZENS being denied service’s.
      Inforce the Immigration laws and Inforce E-Verify for jobs.
      Prosecute Employers that hire ILLEGAL ALIENS.


  3. Sgt. Dread says:

    We don’t need to buy or wait for new technology,it’s already here……….in the military,just let them give us their old technology.Don’t sell it it at auction so it can turn around and be sold back to the taxpayers to buy again,GD ! thses clowns running these homeland security programs must be some sort of village idiots,get the damn job done or be gone ! I’m sick of the illegals and bleeding hearts dictating to US citizens what can and can’t be done. ” One More Army Veteran”

  4. Rick McDaniel says:

    The US government is deliberately allowing the Mexicans to take over the US. It is an orchestrated plot.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE