The need to secure our nation’s borders has never been greater. Each and every day unknown thousands of illegal aliens including, undoubtedly, criminals and terrorists easily make their way across our nations borders. Each and every day unknown tons of narcotics and God knows what other contraband are also smuggled into the United States even as our nation’s leaders talk about concerns about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) being smuggled into the United States.
Today a news article concerning the failures of a program known as “SBInet” (also known by the term “Virtual Fence”) appears on the “nextgov” website, an internet website that reports on various aspects of our federal government- especially where technology is concerned. I have also provided you with a companion (followup) news report that appears in Government Executive Magazine about how the Department of Homeland Security is considering the use of more UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to patrol the border now that SBInet is no longer considered a viable program.
Before we consider the use of UAVs, let us first look back at SBInet.
“SBInet” is the shorthand name for the “Secure Border Initiative network” that was supposed to create a “virtual fence” along 655 miles of our nation’s southern border. As you will seen when you read the news report, initially the SBInet was to have been 90% effective. Then our government did what is seems best at- it lowered its expectations of success and said that 49% would be the acceptable rate of preventing illegal entrants from crossing our nation’s border where the system was installed.
Next the number of miles to be protected by SBInet was reduced from the original 655 miles to 387 miles.
Stop and let those numbers sink in! The Boeing Company had been awarded a 2.5 billion dollar contract to install the fence to protect approximately one fourth of our nation’s border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico in 2006 and now it is apparent that the project was a fiasco!
Back when the concept of the “Virtual Fence” was discussed on Capitol Hill I was interviewed on a number of television programs about the wisdom of a “Virtual Fence.” I was being, perhaps a bit glib, but I had repeatedly predicted that a “Virtual Fence” would, as I put it, “Stop virtually no one!”
In such matters I really hate being right! I would rather have been wrong and having our nation’s borders effectively protected.
Furthermore, consider how the expectations for the efficacy of SBInet was nearly reduced in half as was the length of border that was to have been protected against unauthorized entry into our country. Additionally a previous programs that involved the placement of cameras on the border that preceded SBInet was found to be utterly worthless with many cameras not being installed as promised and with the additional finding that many of the cameras that were installed failed to work because of the weather conditions that the real world subjected them to.
Let us also remember the level of technology that our space program consistently demonstrated. The Voyager spacecraft have been functioning for well over thirty years and are now heading out into interstellar space and are still sending useful data back to the earth with technology that was developed in the 1970’s. The distances involved are so huge that it takes a radio signal from these two space probes roughly 4 hours to reach us. (By way of contrast, light from the sun takes just over 8 minutes to reach the earth!)
The Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity have been functioning on Mars for more than 5.5 years even though they were only warrantied to last 90 days!
More than forty years ago our nation landed men on the moon and returned them safely to earth (unbelievably the administration has now killed the U.S. manned space program!)
However, we are being told that the technology to provide effective security along our borders is beyond our technological capability! If you believe that story I have a bridge to sell you!
Furthermore, the administration and key “leaders” in both houses of Congress are encouraging unlimited numbers of illegal aliens to continue to enter our country by promising to seek to provide illegal aliens with a “pathway to United States citizenship!” This is the equivalent of posting a sign on your home telling would be burglars where your valuables are and then promising them a key to your front door if they crawl into your house through your bedroom window!
The second article discusses the potential use of UAVs to take over the job os securing our borders but also notes that:
Borkowski did not offer a timeline for making a decision to buy more drones. Instead, he said the department is conducting an assessment of two border areas where SBInet technology is being used and expects it to be completed by the end of December.
This means that for at least the next six months, nothing of consequence will be done! Even then, there will, undoubtedly, be more delays. Meanwhile we hear the constant rhetoric that the terrorists need to only get it “right” once while our nation must get it “right” each and every time!
How many criminals and terrorists are now entering our nation each and every day? We have American soldiers dying and getting grievously wounded every week in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a war on and our nation’s alleged “leaders” are moving glacially to protect our nation’s borders and, indeed, our nation itself!
Illegal aliens who succeed in running our nation’s borders have little to fear once they get beyond the borders- there are but a handful of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) special agents seeking to locate those illegal aliens and even when located, many will simply be processed and released!
A recent news article indicated that there are only 272 special agents of ICE seeking to locate and apprehend illegal aliens who did not run our nation’s borders but were admitted via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission. Purportedly there are more than 4.5 million such illegal aliens apparently being sought by all of 272 agents! You might truly say that the odds are not good for our country!
Could you imagine if the administration, especially DHS and the United States Congress was put in charge of the fire department in your community? The smallest fires would be allowed to burn out of control while decisions were made about which fire fighter would drive and which one would sit in each seat of the fire engines!
As building after building caught fire the “leaders” would assess the situation and decide that the fire was too big to cope with and evacuate the entire city!
This is exactly how failures to address illegal immigration and failures to secure the immigration benefits program from rampant fraud are now ravaging our nation!
November 2nd cannot come fast enough!
We the People, throughout this nation, must do the same sort of thing with all of our elected “representatives.” We must seek opportunities to make it clear to them that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!
If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!
We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”
Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!
However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!