Quick news flash from the Mexico-US Solidarity Network
News and Analysis
September 14-20, 2009
Border wall a waste of money
A report issued on Thursday by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found over 3,000 breaches of a still-unfinished 600-mile border wall which cost more than US$2.4 billion since 2005. The federal government will have to spend US$6.5 billion over the next 20 years simply to maintain the wall, according to the report. Despite the high price tag, officials have found no way to determine if the wall is helping to deter undocumented immigration, according to the GAO report. Academics report that less than half of undocumented immigrants are apprehended on any given trip to the border, and of those, the success rate for a second or third try is around 95%. “There is no reason to believe that additional investment in the fence project – both physical fencing and the new ‘virtual fence’ – will create effective deterrent,” said Wayne Cornelius, one of the nation’s leading immigration researchers.