Past Features

November 2, 2017

Better border technology needed?

Marquette Wire -- October 31, 2017    
DUFAULT: Effective surveillance technology needed on US-Mexico border
    With all the technological advancements humanity has made, it's hard to believe that we still have not found an alternative to a wall as a border defense mechanism.
    I am referring to President Donald Trump's perhaps most prolific campaign promise: the Mexico-United States border wall. Trump hopes the wall, which is projected to be 30 feet tall, is going to be a physically imposing barrier that separates the US from Mexico. Whether one likes it or not, it's beginning to look like this wall is going to become a reality. Prototypes have already been built in San Diego to test the effectiveness of this proposed border defense.
    For now, the wall may be the best bet for a temporary solution to immigration concerns. However, the wall will only work if the government implements costly surveillance technology and keeps border violence at a minimum. Technology is just not good enough at the moment for any other type of border security to be possible.
    Trump has pushed the fact that the current border fence is not holding up well, which an NBC broadcast showing immigrants jumping the fence illustrated perfectly
    But the multibillion-dollar question is whether it will work. Prototypes may bring the U.S. closer to understanding its efficacy, but they do not paint a full picture. Additionally, the wall is estimated to cost about $70 billion dollars plus an extra $150 million annually for maintenance. That's costly for a project that has no guarantee of efficiency or efficacy.
    There are ways that the U.S. government can attempt to make this barrier more practical. The United States needs to find technology outside of physical barriers and border patrol agents if it wants to prevent undocumented persons from entering the country. However, this doesn't mean that engineers worldwide haven't found ways to improve a fence or wall border patrol system. [...]
    The use of non-aggressive technology, however, may soften the blow the wall will have on the United States' relations with Mexico. Though the wall is still physically imposing, non-violent surveillance technology may negate the amount of aggression at the border.
    While the feeling of separation will always exist, technology like cameras and sensors can help apprehend immigrants before they even attempt to cross the border, without the need for violence.
    In the end, only time will tell the effect that the border wall will have on both the United States and Mexico.