Past Features

October 17, 2015

Can We Secure the Border?
GovExec Thinks Not

GovExec.com -- October 13, 2015
Here's What it Would Take to Build The Border Fence Donald Trump Wants    
    The land border between the US and Mexico is 1,933 miles in length, and Donald Trump would like to see all of it sealed off --- as would nearly half of all Americans, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. (At 46%, the share of those who favor putting a fence along the entirety of the US' southern border has not changed since 2007 --- although in the latest poll, released Oct. 8, the profile of supporters skewed whiter, older, and more Republican.)
    Erecting an end-to-end barrier would be a complicated and costly endeavor, though.
    Here's a look at the fencing that currently runs along roughly a third of the border, based on reports from the US Congressional Research Center and the Government Accountability Office (pdf). Most of the fencing was built between 2005 and 2011, although barrier construction along the border dates back as far as 1990.
    At those costs, the price tag to seal the rest of the border would be between $2.2 billion and $8.3 billion ---- although the final tab could be much higher because some of the areas that remain unfenced are remote and inhospitable, and presumably would be more expensive to build on.
    Trump isn't suggesting that the US foot that bill. (In June, he told CNN that he would build it, but make Mexico pay for it.) But there would be other expense hurdles to consider—legal costs, for example. When the US government tried to secure land to put up the existing wall, a flurry of lawsuits ensued, some filed by the government and others filed against it. Federal officials also had to fight environmentalists concerned that the fence would disrupt wildlife.
    In the end, blocking off at least parts of the border has not been enough to dissuade smugglers. To get around the current fence, they've cut holes in it, carved tunnels under it, and even used a catapult to launch their contraband over it.
    A longer, sturdier wall might just yield more creative solutions to overcome it.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
Media Cover Up
    GovExec quotes a Pew Research Center survey that claims that “nearly half of all Americans” would like to see the border sealed off. One wonders what those numbers would be if the media had been telling the truth about the border.
    For example, in May of this year when the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee wanted to show a map of what the border fence looks like, DHS wouldn't let him.
    We sent a link to our fence report to a Sen. Johnson's aide.    Her comment was: Amazing! She saw that what DHS is calling a fence is a joke.
    GovExec says people would cut holes in fences --- not if we built the right kind of fence! And, we have tested technology that can detect tunneling.
    For the past nine years ABP has been reporting on solutions to the border problem, but the media refuse to report on anything we say --- or do.
    In the past two weeks producers for two major US TV news outlets have contacted me about the possibility of doing a story about ABP. As before, nothing ever came of it. Apparently, once an idea reaches top management it is killed.
    If the American people knew what was really going at DHS, support for securing the border would probably be close to 90%.
    Even with the media cover up, support for the Trump “Wall” is incredible.

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