The Department of Homeland Security has pulled the plug on $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for the “Virtual Border Fence,” meant to secure the U.S.’s border with Mexico. The SBInet project would mesh security cameras, motion sensors, radar and other technologies into a high-tech detection system to defeat illegal border crossings.
“Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will redeploy $50 million of Recovery Act funding originally allocated for the SBInet … to other tested, commercially available security technology along the Southwest border,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. She added that funds allocated to the program would be used to for proven technologies like mobile surveillance equipment, thermal imaging devices, ultra-light plane detection systems, mobile radios, cameras and laptop computers for Border Patrol vehicles. She said that DHS has also frozen all funding beyond SBInet’s initial deployment to two areas south of Tucson and Ajo, Arizona, an assessment ordered in January.