Saturday, March 01, 2008

Virtual fence is virtually absurd

Wouldn't you know it? The first 28-mile experimental section of the "virtual fence" slated to be put together (I guess "built" isn't quite the right word) along the US-Mexican border, has run into glitches and has been delayed -- and of course it is over budget. The section in question is south of Phoenix, and has already cost $85 million. But more than halfway through they figured out they were using the wrong software. In 2006 the estimated the whole project would cost $7.6 billion, but you can bet it will be at least three times that if it ever gets done.

The whole idea of the fence is absurd, of course. Maybe it's cursed by the ghost of Emma Lazarus. Will it ever lead to figuring out that the problem is quotas that are too low, not a lack of fences?

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