Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Great Wall of Boeing

The 670-mile physical fence on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico could cost as much as $46.9 billion by 2030, and that's not including the still nonexistent Boeing "virtual fence."

by David L. Wilson, MRzine
September 27, 2008

On September 10 the U.S. government acknowledged that its Secure Border Initiative (SBI) was behind schedule and over budget. Promoted in 2005 as a new way to block unauthorized immigration, the $2.7 billion project was supposed to create a 670-mile physical and "virtual" fence by the end of this year along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

After three years, the government's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has only completed 341 miles of the physical fence -- 187 miles of wire-mesh fencing to stop pedestrians and 154 miles of shorter barriers to block vehicles. The cost for the pedestrian barriers has risen to $7.5 million a mile from earlier estimates of $4 million; the cost for the vehicle barriers has gone up from $2 million to $2.8 million a mile. The physical fence is already $400 million over budget. The "virtual fence" -- SBInet, an electronic monitoring system being constructed by Boeing Co., the giant military contractor -- is now on hold. Its cost so far has been $933 million; the official estimates are that it will cost $8 billion through 2013, and that number may triple, according to the DHS inspector general.

None of this is really news, of course. [...]

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