One of the arguments people who are serious about securing our borders made against comprehensive immigration reform during the Bush years was that if we went that way, the illegals would get citizenship, but we’d never get the security. In fact, that’s exactly what happened when the country went that route during the Reagan years.
Just to give you an idea of how deep the skepticism ran, in early March of 2007, I polled bloggers on a number of topics including the fence. Here’s what the 62 bloggers polled had to say about the fence:
3) Do you believe that the wall on the border will ever actually be completed?
Yes (6) — 10%
No (56) — 90%
Fast forward to the present, three years later and guess what? Conservative bloggers were right.
The Homeland Security Department today halted expansion of its troubled virtual border fence project, citing cost overruns and missed deadlines.
Spending on the patchwork of cameras, radar and sensors has soared since Homeland Security first awarded the contract for SBInet to Boeing in 2006. SBInet stands for Secure Border Initiative. The contract was originally for $2 billion and was expected to be finished by 2009. But the system has difficulty seeing clearly and often transmits false alarms.
SBInet now isn’t expected to be finished until at least 2016, and the Government Accountability Office said in September that Homeland Security has already spent more than $3.7 billion on the project.
They started building the fence in 2006, said it would be done in 2009, and now it has been moved out until 2016. Guess what? Unless we have a Republican President who’s serious about border control in office, in 2016, they’ll announce another long delay just like this one.
The best way to change it? Make it absolutely clear that anyone who doesn’t believe in security first, doesn’t believe in securing in the border.