Wednesday, March 11, 2009

'Virtual fence' gets second chance on border

The Homeland Security Department is accelerating plans to build a costly and long-troubled "virtual fence" of sensors and cameras along the U.S.-Mexican border, aided by $100 million from the economic stimulus package. The government already has spent $600 million and built a failed prototype of the high-tech network that would be used by border agents to try to catch illegal immigrants and drug runners. A 28-mile test patch built in Arizona over the past two years had so many problems that it was scrapped. The department is now embarking on what its officials and members of Congress are calling a "do-over" on the same land near Tucson and another along 30 miles in Ajo, Ariz. Some question whether Boeing, the government contractor for the job, should be allowed to continue with the multiyear, $6.7 billion project after botching the first effort. Its pole cameras and radar and communications systems didn't work well and couldn't be used effectively by border agents...USA Today

No comments: