In response to “Then there were walls” letter from William Bass of Hartford (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 15, 2020), I offer these comments.
It's 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 less than five minutes with an industrial chain saw and individuals scaled the wall over the top in less than 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-foot 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 20,000 agents and there are already 33 checkpoints.
This would provide a more secure and smarter border wall.
So let's build a “smarter” border wall system, not a “beautiful” border wall system.