Failed “Virtual Fence” to Be Built in Texas


STEWART M. POWELL
Houston Chronicle
May 11, 2008

WASHINGTON — Sections of Texas’ border with Mexico eventually could be secured by the same kind of high-tech “virtual fence” that’s been deployed in Arizona, key legislators said Friday after touring the state-of-the-art surveillance network.

The comments by two subcommittee chairmen with the House Homeland Security Committee — Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, and Christopher Carney, D-Pa.— followed an inspection tour Friday of the $20.6 million virtual fence near Sasabe, Ariz.

The project links high-tech surveillance towers, cameras, radar, ground sensors and unmanned aerial drones along a 28-mile section of the 1,947-mile international border.

“In Texas, there is an outcry and a great deal of conflict over installing physical barriers along the border,” said Jackson Lee, chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on transportation security and infrastructure protection. “What I have seen here today can be a very effective 21st century tool to secure our borders.”

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