By Joseph DeCaro
Washington D.C., USA (Worthy News) — As of last week, 601 miles of the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border is now completed, however 69 miles remains to be built to meet the goal set by the former Bush administration, according to Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling.
In December, President-elect Barack Obama wanted to evaluate border security operations before deciding whether to finish building the fence, but Easterling said the Obama White House has not told Homeland Security to halt construction.
In addition to the physical fence, the overall plan for security on the Southwest border includes added Border Patrol agents, enforcement of immigration laws, and a high-tech “virtual fence” employing surveillance technology.
Since its inception, the fence has faced several lawsuits, but none have been successful so far.
Congress authorized the fence in 2005 to secure the border and slow illegal immigration. To expedite its construction, Homeland Security was exempted from federal environmental protection.
Since 2006, Congress has allocated $2.7 billion for the fence, but there’s no estimate on how much the entire project will cost to finish and then maintain. Boeing Co. was awarded the contract for the technology portion of the project and some of its construction.
The 9-11 terrorist attacks advanced the idea of a border fence as gaps along America’s Southwestern border could provide opportunities for terrorists to enter the nation.