Virtual Fence in the Media

The New York Times’ Randal Archibald reported that the government planned to cut significant pieces of funding for the “virtual fence” program. The budget was a significant topic in the article as an October budget cut reduced funding by nearly $200 million and stimulus money was siphoned into seemingly more important areas of border protection. The story pointed out the programs failure to keep to the projected schedule and Boeing’s silence in regard to its participation in the project. The Government Accountability Office’s disappointment with the virtual fence was quoted through Richard Stana (director of homeland security and justice issues for the office) stated that the program was over hyped yet its deliverance has been underwhelming.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that the secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, froze funding for the fence 2 days before the GAO report was to be released. The president of the national boarder council, T. J. Bonner was pleased with the decision stating that the fence was a “failure.” The article offers the opinion of someone other than a government related source, a political science professor at Villanova. Catherine Wilson suggested that the funding freeze was not only due to budget issues, but also to recent violence at the border. This was the only mention of a broader context outside of budget issues and Boeing faults.

This issue seems to have a general consensus of experts that have little faith in the “virtual fence.” Both articles included quotations from members of the DHS or CBP who either spoke in neutral terms or even suggested altering their strategy of border protection. Most news sources were government sources.

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