EPT Opinion: Border cameras – Feds should take control

Texas continues to demonstrate the best way to protect our borders. Again we're employing new technology; others contend a fence is the answer.

Our latest step, after one failed project, will be installing some 400 motion-triggered cameras that send instantaneous email pictures to accounts selected by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The cameras cost $300 apiece.

The latest idea seems to be a good one, but we continue to contend border security is a federal responsibility. And the cost should not be placed on the shoulders of Texans.

This has also been the contention of Gov. Rick Perry, who says he has no alternative but to spend Texas money because the border must be secure. He has spent millions of Texas dollars. And one endeavor is generally believed to be a failure. In 2009, few chose to click on to a pilot program that sent live video feeds of border activity to anyone through the Internet. It was a $2 million dud. In fact, only 13 of 200 allotted cameras were even installed.

On Thursday, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Strass told the El Paso Times Editorial Board that border security is an obvious mandate; he echoed that it is the responsibility of the federal government.

Meanwhile, the strategy to maintain border security is caught up in Washington, D.C., politics. In general, comprehensive immigration reform is not on the table because some contend security cannot be maintained without a border fence.  Read more …

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