image

Pictures are finally filing in from this vaunted fence that’s supposed to magically protect us from the evil Mexicans south of the border. The one above I found over at Zimbio. Part of the caption is below:

The new barrier between the US and Mexico stands 15 feet tall and sits on top of the sand so it can lifted by a machine and repositioned whenever the migrating desert dunes begin to bury it. The almost seven miles of floating fence cost about $6 million per mile to build.

Really?  $6 Million per mile?

I don’t usually talk aboudefet political issues here on this blog, but this is an issue I’ve been following for quite some time, and the only outlet I’d really have to talk about it on would be my podcast with Art on RFC Radio.  We just recorded that show for this week, and I really don’t want to have to wait another seven days to speak my mind on it.

Remember when we were talking, as a nation, about our immigration crisis? Remember how the best solution we could come up with was amnesty and a fence (and we somehow just ended up with a fence)?  Remember how the comedians ridiculed the idea, asking if white folks stupidly thought they didn’t have ladders in Mexico? Remember how the retort was that this was some sort of intelligent electronic fence?

The new barrier between the US and Mexico stands 15 feet tall and sits on top of the sand so it can lifted by a machine and repositioned whenever the migrating desert dunes begin to bury it. The almost seven miles of floating fence cost about $6 million per mile to build.

This is a section of the border only seven miles long that cost a total of $42 million to create. Are we safer as a result?

image

Instead of wasting $42 million bucks every few miles on a fence, how hard would it be for us to simply allow everyone to immigrate legally, and kill the incentive for people to risk life and limb (and $10 at the ladder store) to hoof it across the border.

Beyond that, how about an intelligent approach to border security? As I talked about back in December on the /robots blog, people are making do-it-yourself military UAVs with a few bucks and some ingenuity. How hard would it be to slap a camera and a mobile phone on one of those puppies and save the cost of gas for patrols and the cost of raw materials on an overpriced, easily defeatable fence.

Look – I came up with that idea in about three minutes.  Take your time, spend about a half hour thinking of your own method of cheap border patrol. I bet if we spend a day on it in the comments, we could easily beat the cost structure of building a “movable 15-foot fence.”

Seriously. Give it your best shot. I’m curious to see what people can come up with off the cuff.