Let us face it, most people thing that walls make good neighbors and there is truth to that. The problem with our southern border is we have not had a good strategy on how to create a border wall.
It is not that building a wall along our southern border is not a good idea as it is and has been for years. But building a 30-foot high ‘beautiful’ wall (in the words of Trump) is simply idiocy unchained. First off, it will hardly slow illegal immigration. Why? Because in testing, the wall was breached in under 5 minutes with an industrial chain saw and individuals scaled the wall over the top in under 20 minutes. The CATO Institute has calculated that the final cost would exceed $36.6 million per mile or almost $60 billion for the ‘remaining’ 1,637 miles that is currently unprotected.
A cheaper and more effective way would be to erect two 12′ fences separated by a two-lane highway for border patrol. Then put-up industrial motion sensor cameras with infrared night vision ever 100 yards for a 50-yard coverage along with industrial seismic sensors every 100 yards to detect tunneling. Add in the cost of fiber optic cabling to connect all devices to a monitoring office every 10 miles and the total expenditure would be about $7 million per mile which is 11% of the cost of Trump’s ‘beautiful’ wall. As far as personnel, the Border Patrol already has about 20K agents and there are already 33 checkpoints so some cost would not cost anything extra as we are already paying for it.
In addition, a wall like this can be built in difficult areas much more easily than the 30-foot-high monstrosity. But there will be areas that the wall and/or 2-lane road cannot be built. In those areas, we can still implement the motion sensor cameras and seismic sensors.
However, no matter what kind of wall is built, if a person wants to circumvent it, they can do it. If you built the Great Wall of China from the Pacific to the Gulf, I am sure someone would find a way to get around it. After all, there is about 40K feet of open airspace straight up for each square foot as well as you have the Pacific and Gulf that can be used to flank any walls. So, it is really just a deterrent and not a for-sure thing.
But this process would provide a more secure and smarter border wall.