Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: The Homeland Security chief says the virtual border fence is a bust. Surprise.
Dear Mr. President,
So my understanding is that the “virtual fence” along the U.S. Mexico border has now been cancelled. A billion dollars was spent, a lot of hot air was blown around, and 53 miles of the 2000 miles border was secured.
First: If that’s how this was working out, then good on you for pulling the plug.
Second: Really? 53 miles? I’m no Chuck Norris but give me a billion dollars and I think I might be able to secure 53 miles with a motorcycle and a bullhorn. Maybe a billion dollars just doesn’t go very far anymore.
What surprises me is not that the idea did not work. It seemed a little Rube Goldberg-ish to begin with. I mean, it seems like a virtual fence would probably be best at stopping virtual illegal crossings, not real ones. We don’t write virtual speeding tickets. You don’t have virtual Secret Service agents.
No, what surprises me is that we could be so far off in our estimate of how it might work. We didn’t miss by an inch, or a yard, or even a few miles. We missed by…well, almost the whole thing. Didn’t somebody pull out a map at the start and say, “Hey, that’s a long border down there!”
I don’t mean to be ragging on you, because this is the sort of thing that obviously plagues all sorts of government efforts under all sorts of administrations. But such affairs never cease to amaze me anyway. I know there is a lot of talk now about the “new” plan, and a lot of hope about how that might work. But after this virtual fence debacle, I’ll believe it when I see it. Or if it too turns out to be virtual, when I don’t see it.
As it is, I suspect our southern border remains as porous as a sieve years into our serious discussions on what to do about it.
Call if you can. Going for a long run today and a show at the Kennedy Center. If we had an extra ticket I would invite you along, but no such luck. Next time, ok?
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