The $3.7 billion spent so far has bought a patchwork of sub-par technology that often can’t tell a terrorist from a tumbleweed.
Cameras and radars mounted on tall poles can be so shaken by the wind and blinded by the rain that they don’t see clearly. The radars report intruders where there are none. The cameras have trouble seeing and then transmitting images back to human monitors.
When it was begun in 2006, the Secure Border Initiative – called SBInet – was supposed to be completed early this year. But by the time that due date rolled around, the estimated date of completion had slid out to 2016.
This whole issue has always been a joke. I’ve certainly never been convinced than anyone calling the shots is at all serious about actually securing the border.
The new Block 1 SBInet needs a 70% identification rate to be deemed acceptable. That means that three in ten illegal crossers can get through unseen and it’s good enough.
That’s not the definition of “good enough” that I’m familiar with.
It’s clear that no one currently in power is going to do anything meaningful about this. That means different people need to be in power.