The need to secure our nation’s borders has never been greater. Each and every day unknown thousands of illegal aliens including, undoubtedly, criminals and terrorists easily make their way across our nation’s borders. Each and every day unknown tons of narcotics and God knows what other contraband are also smuggled into the United States even as our nation’s leaders talk about concerns about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) being smuggled into the United States.
A news article concerning the failures of a program known as “SBInet” (also known by the term “Virtual Fence”) appears on the “nextgov” website, an internet website that reports on various aspects of our federal government- especially where technology is concerned. I have also provided you with a companion (followup) news report that appears in Government Executive Magazine about how the Department of Homeland Security is considering the use of more UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to patrol the border now that SBInet is no longer considered a viable program.
Before we consider the use of UAVs, let us first look back at SBInet.
“SBInet” is the shorthand name for the “Secure Border Initiative network” that was supposed to create a “virtual fence” along 655 miles of our nation’s southern border. As you will see when you read the news report, initially the SBInet was to have been 90% effective. Then our government did what is seems best at- it lowered its expectations of success and said that 49% would be the acceptable rate of preventing illegal entrants from crossing our nation’s border where the system was installed.
Next the number of miles to be protected by SBInet was reduced from the original 655 miles to 387 miles.
Stop and let those numbers sink in! The Boeing Company had been awarded a 2.5 billion dollar contract to install the fence to protect approximately one fourth of our nation’s border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico in 2006 and now it is apparent that the project was a fiasco!
Back when the concept of the “Virtual Fence” was discussed on Capitol Hill I was interviewed on a number of television programs about the wisdom of a “Virtual Fence.” I was being, perhaps a bit glib, but I had repeatedly predicted that a “Virtual Fence” would, as I put it, “Stop virtually no one!”
In such matters I really hate being right! I would rather have been wrong while having our nation’s borders effectively protected.
Furthermore, consider how the expectations for the efficacy of SBInet was nearly reduced in half, as was the length of border that was to have been protected against unauthorized entry into our country. Additionally a previous program that involved the placement of cameras on the border that preceded SBInet was found to be utterly worthless with many cameras not being installed as promised. An additional finding was that many of the cameras that were installed failed to work because of the weather conditions that the real world subjected them to.
Let us also remember the level of technology that our space program consistently demonstrated. The Voyager spacecraft have been functioning for well over thirty years and are now heading out into interstellar space and are still sending useful data back to the earth with technology that was developed in the 1970’s. The distances involved are so huge that it takes a radio signal from these two space probes roughly 4 hours to reach us. (By way of contrast, light from the sun takes just over 8 minutes to reach the earth!)
The Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity have been functioning on Mars for more than 5.5 years even though they were only warranted to last 90 days!
More than forty years ago our nation landed men on the moon and returned them safely to earth (unbelievably, the administration has now killed the U.S. manned space program!)
However, we are being told that the technology to provide effective security along our borders is beyond our technological capability. If you believe that story I have a bridge to sell you!
Furthermore, the administration and key “leaders” in both houses of Congress are encouraging unlimited numbers of illegal aliens to continue to enter our country by promising to seek to provide illegal aliens with a “pathway to United States citizenship!” This is the equivalent of posting a sign on your home telling would be burglars where your valuables are and then promising them a key to your front door if they crawl into your house through your bedroom window!
The second article discusses the potential use of UAVs to take over the job of securing our borders but also notes that:
“Borkowski did not offer a timeline for making a decision to buy more drones. Instead, he said the department is conducting an assessment of two border areas where SBInet technology is being used and expects it to be completed by the end of December.”
This means that for at least the next six months, nothing of consequence will be done! Even then, there will undoubtedly be more delays. Meanwhile we hear the constant rhetoric that the terrorists need to only get it “right” once while our nation must get it “right” each and every time!
How many criminals and terrorists are now entering our nation each and every day? We have American soldiers dying and getting grievously wounded every week in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a war on, and our nation’s alleged “leaders” are moving glacially to protect our nation’s borders and, indeed, our nation itself!
Illegal aliens who succeed in running our nation’s borders have little to fear once they get beyond the borders- there are but a handful of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) special agents seeking to locate those illegal aliens and even when located, many will simply be processed and released!
A recent news article indicated that there are only 272 special agents of ICE seeking to locate and apprehend illegal aliens who did not run our nation’s borders but were admitted via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission. Purportedly there are more than 4.5 million such illegal aliens apparently being sought by all of 272 agents! You might truly say that the odds are not good for our country!
Could you imagine if the administration, especially DHS and the United States Congress was put in charge of the fire department in your community? The smallest fires would be allowed to burn out of control while decisions were made about which fire fighter would drive and which one would sit in each seat of the fire engines!
As building after building caught fire the “leaders” would assess the situation and decide that the fire was too big to cope with and evacuate the entire city!
This is exactly how failures to address illegal immigration and failures to secure the immigration benefits program from rampant fraud are now ravaging our nation!
November 2nd cannot come fast enough!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People! This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!