Liberal Grace

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

LG Sticky Question - cost of border security: one 10-billion-dollar fence


No one even acknowledged my letters asking how much it will cost to secure the border.

Even though these guys cajole and demand that we "secure the borders," I think they have no idea how much their proposals will cost.

So, they just ignore the question.

Tom Tancredo didn't answer me. John Boehner didn't answer me. James Sensenbrenner didn't answer me.

And these guys are the loudest advocates for securing the borders!

We do have at least one example for just one aspect of securing the border: The San Diego-Tijuana fence.

The San Diego-Tijuana border fence was initially estimated to cost about $1 million/mile, but has thus far cost $42 million, and it's not done yet. The last 3.5 miles to be completed are expected cost an additional $35 million due to the rough terrain that the fence cuts through. Thus the average cost of the San Diego-Tijuana fence for its total 14 mile length is about $5.3 million/mile.
Fencing the Border

OK... we have a hard figure... average 5 million per mile to build a fence.

The border is 1,951 miles, so that's $10,340,300,000

OK (no thanks to border security mob) but we have a number: roughly ten billion dollars to build the fence.

(That covers the land, but not the coasts near the border. Nor does it include Canada.)

The number is admittedly a ball-park estimate but it is based on a real-life scenario and sure beats the total silence from the likes of Tancredo, Boehner and Sensenbrenner.

Remember, this is just the cost for the fence. Not patrolling it. Not maintaining it. Not arresting those who get over it. None of that other stuff. Just building it. And, since we'll have to finance it on credit, you can roughly double that price after interest payments.

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