George Bush signed the "Secure Fence Act" into law on October 26, 2006. Its purpose is to construct a barrier to stem illegal immigration into the country along the Mexican border. How a 700 mile fence along a 2100 mile border would accomplish this or what effect it would have on the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country is unclear. The initial estimate for its cost was $2 billion, and $1.2 billion was budgeted for it. The final cost, however, if it is ever built (which is unlikely), could be between $8 billion and $30 billion. In other words, it is an expensive, pointless gesture to anti-immigrant feeling without addressing what an immigration policy could or should be.
On February 22, 2008, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, the most incompetent man in Washington, accepted a $20 million Boeing built prototype 28 mile “virtual fence” known as Project 28 southwest of Tucson. Less than a week later on February 28, 2008, a GAO report noted that it did not do what it was supposed to do. In particular, the extended time between when motion was detected and an image was transmitted made it of little use to border patrol officials. On April 22, 2008, the project was scrapped.
As Chertoff builds his “fence”, a May 27, 2008 New York Times article reported that smugglers are increasingly finding it simpler to bribe Border Patrol and customs agents. Investigations of the Homeland Security Inspector General have gone up from 31 in 2003 to 79 in 2007. From 2003 to April 2008, there were 125 cases against border guards in California, 45 in Arizona, 14 in New Mexico, and 157 in Texas. Internal affairs units and the FBI also have ongoing investigations.