According to the Los Angeles Times, the Department of Homeland Security has decided not to exercise an option with Boeing Co. to continue work on the so-called high-tech invisible border fence. The project, consisting of cameras, radar and ground vibration sensors has been mired in controversy from the outset.
The end result is that taxpayers will have funded over $1 billion for a faulty and unreliable system, covering only 53 miles of the 2,000 mile border. The electronic fence is part of the $4.4 billion Secure Border Initiative. The project has experienced problems from the outsets, including numerous missed deadlines, and unexpected technical challenges due to the rough terrain and harsh weather in the area.
When completed, the fence was intended to be able to identify 90% of the human traffic occurring at the border, although officials now admit that existing technology is not up to the task. The daytime cameras are only able to see about one-half of the distance expected, and ground sensors are not able to detect foot traffic as envisioned.
The government completed an independent assessment of the project in July, but has not yet made the results public.