Even This Mexican Walking Fish Can Defeat U.S. Border Security


this is a mexican walking fish. even he can defeat border security

On this hot Tuesday afternoon, take a moment to imagine yourself in the boots of your border brethren with this spot-on rant from the San Antonio Express-News about how gol-durned expensive it is to fail at securing our borders. (Or imagine yourself as the super-cool Mexican Walking Fish at right. He does not wear boots, but he can defeat our border security. Your call.)

In 2005, Operation Linebacker sent $35 million in state and federal funds to rural border sheriffs' departments so they could help the Border Patrol. They ticketed thousands for traffic violations and arrested many illegal immigrants, but few criminals. In 2007, that program morphed into Operation Border Star, a multi-agency effort that relied on $110 million in state funds.

In May 2006, then-President George W. Bush launched Operation Jump Start, a plan to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. That same year, Congress authorized 700 miles of fence along the border and Gov. Rick Perry asked citizens to test a website linked to eight cameras along the border.

The latter project ran out of money after a year and fell far short of its goals in arrests and reports of illegal crossings. Just 17 of 200 cameras had been installed with a $2 million federal grant.

As for the fence, the General Accounting Office found that, despite a $2.6 billion investment, the government couldn't tell if it worked.

In January, the GAO found that the number of new system defects identified over a 17-month period in the federal government's Secure Border Initiative, a multiyear, multibillion-dollar program "was increasing faster than the number of defects being fixed."

Faced with that finding, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered an assessment of the program and froze some of its funding. But then in May, President Barack Obama announced plans to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border.

In fact, only one thing seems to have worked to slow passage at the border:

According to Homeland Security figures, the number of apprehensions of illegal aliens dropped 23 percent between fiscal year 2008 and 2009. But it wouldn't be far-fetched to attribute much of that to the slumping U.S. economy, arguably our most effective border protection measure so far.

Read lots more on the failures of border control and the ways we should just let 'em in here.

NEXT: The Fall of the "American Taliban"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Coincidence: I attended college with the woman credited at the end of the article for her research assistance. We lived in the same dorm.

  2. In January, the GAO found that the number of new system defects identified over a 17-month period in the federal government’s Secure Border Initiative, a multiyear, multibillion-dollar program “was increasing faster than the number of defects being fixed.”


  3. Operation Linebacker? Wasn’t that a bombing campaign in Vietnam? Your operations fail because you steal their names, border fucks.

    1. Not only that, it was a bombing campaign targetting (ostensibly) neutral Cambodia. So the border-violatin’ ironies just keep piling up.

  4. OLE!

  5. I think I know that chick in the picture.

  6. What a missed opportunity. The prez could build solar panel walls while powering all eight cameras, and, of course, all the homes in the border states. Well, you would have to train bureaucrats on which states actually share a border with Mexico. Where’s that crazed sex poodle when you need him?

    1. I can’t support that Arizona law. If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this saying that they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding the borders, I would have to look twice at this. But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border.

  7. More spending will fix this, you know.

  8. Maybe we should just put turnstiles connected to generators at the border. If we can’t “secure the border”, let’s at least get some free power out of the deal.

  9. That isn’t a fish. The term “Mexican walking fish” is an Australian racist’s name for what Mexicans, properly, call the Axolotl salamander.

    You have to know these things when you’re a king.

    1. From which we get the term, “axlotl tank.”

      1. I guess it’s time for you to know.

        You are the 35th Pro Libertate.

        I just have a new one grown every time you displease me and I crush you with my bulk.

        1. I’d buy that except that you are no Kwisatz Haderach, SugarFree.

          That would be cool to be ghola Pro Liberate, though, especially with restored memories of my preceding incarnations. Can I be a mentat, too?

          1. We haven’t destroyed all the thinking machines yet, ProL, so you’ll have to hold off on that one.

        2. You are the 35th Pro Libertate.


  10. “Operation Linebacker”, “Operation Border Star”, “Operation Jump Start”, etc.

    Who names this shiot?

    1. Fucking joke handles.

    2. “Operation Protectionism” just doesn’t have the same ring.

  11. “Just 17 of 200 cameras had been installed with a $2 million federal grant.”

    Right, so that comes out to $117,647.05(88, yay maths and funny money!) per camera installed, as opposed to… the budgeted $10,000 per camera.

    Those are some expensive cameras.

    1. Someday, I’d like to hear the story of where some of that government money went. I’m surprised some rent-seeking thief hasn’t come clean just for the book deal.

  12. Maybe one of the reasons it’s so hard to secure the border is that we have congresscritters like this.

    Looks like the perfect cosmotarian politician – smug, sanctimonious, dismissive and desperately in need of getting a Front Street Facelift from his constituents.

  13. They . . . arrested many illegal immigrants, but few criminals

    Wait, which is it? Did they arrest few people who violated the law, or did they arrest many people who violated the (immigration) laws?

    1. Fair question. How would you respond to They . . . arrested many fugitive slaves, but few criminals?

      1. I wouldn’t respond to it. Slavery was recognized as an evil, although sometimes considered a necessary one, at least as far back as Thomas Aquinas. Other than a few crackpots and gate-crashers, a nation defending it’s borders has never been recognized as any such thing. There’s no rational basis for comparison.

        1. So the fugitive slaves weren’t criminals?

        2. Let’s try this one: They . . . arrested many drug users, but few criminals.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.