A little over a year ago, DC wrote about the $2 million border camera program which was to be used to capture and detain for various reasons depending to whom Perry was speaking. At the point, each capture was at a cost of $130,00–that’s without detention and removal costs.
The Texas Trib has a new report on Perry’s Border Boondoggle and it ain’t gettin’ any better.
During his 2006 re-election campaign, Perry promised to launch a virtual neighborhood watch program on the border, allowing internet viewers to troll for illegal crossers. He said he would spend $5 million and line the border with “hundreds” of cameras. Lawmakers didn’t go for the idea, refusing to fund the cameras with state dollars. But four years later, Perry has invested a total of $4 million of federal grant money that he controls in the Texas Border Watch Program. Twenty-nine cameras have been installed on the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border, or one camera for every 41 miles of border. Internet viewers have helped police make a total of 26 arrests — that’s about $153,800 per arrest. And some border law agencies are not even using the cameras for police work.
What a waste! And what do border law enforcement agencies who are busy fighting crime organizations think?
Lucio scoffed at results the coalition reported from the camera program — 26 arrests and the seizure of about 7,400 pounds of narcotics in two years. “I arrest more than that in a month,” he said. The camera money, he said, could be better spent on patrol officers and equipment. “On a yearly basis here, I confiscate six to seven tons (of narcotics). I don’t need the cameras. I just need the manpower.”
How much has Perry and the GOP spent on curbing demand for drugs? Because, let’s face it, the demand is on this side of the border and as long as demand is that strong, the drugs will keep coming. It’s simple economics.
Perry uses the politics of immigration to throw money at bad ideas in order to bolster his right-wing support. It’s bad politics and it shows what Rick Perry has always been about–his own political career and nothing else–while attacking people who are simply trying to get into a slightly better situation than what they get in their own country.