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Dumb Sensors, Deadly Consequences

Michelle Malkin on

On a trip to the Sierra Vista, Arizona, region earlier this summer for my CRTV.com show, "Michelle Malkin Investigates," I talked to ranchers who pointed out fancy new towers with fatal blind spots, out of reach of deep washes and heavy forests where illegal immigrants and drug smugglers travel.

"We have $50 million of infrastructure on this ranch now," fourth-generation Arizona rancher John Ladd told me during a tour of his property, "and none of it has worked. Camera towers, radar, fence, roads, street lights." All the technology in the world is useless, he has long pointed out to politicians and bureaucrats, without boots on the ground. And Border Patrol agents parked in air-conditioned cubicles hours from the border don't count.

"You got 600 (agents) in Tucson" who "take 6 hours to get to the border. Move them down! You got Nogales ... and Naco and Douglas that are within a mile of the border," Ladd points out. "All the rest of them are more than 50 miles north. Why do we have that? What good is that?"

Longtime illegal immigration activist and systems engineer Glenn Spencer, who I first met in California in the 1990s, has lived and worked on the Arizona border for more than decade. He patented and tested a pilot system of seismic detection and ranging on 1.5 miles of his friend John Ladd's property called Seidarm and paired it with a drone, dubbed Hermes, which automatically launches when border activity is detected within 500 feet of the smart sensors. It can be manufactured and built at a fraction of the cost of the big defense contractors' systems. Unlike much of the government's gold-plated technology, Ladd said: "It worked."

"If they had SEIDARM/HERMES installed, they could have checked out the ground sensor without putting the agent in jeopardy," Spencer told me after Agent Martinez's death hit the news this week.

But politicians in both parties have spurned Ladd's pleas and Spencer's proposals. Special interests have raided public coffers to fund border security Kabuki theater and stave off meaningful assessments. Spencer doesn't mince words:

 

"They don't want to measure it; they don't want to secure the border; they want to make it LOOK like they are."

Beltway business as usual. Another agent's life sacrificed. President Trump, the clock is ticking.

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Michelle Malkin is host of "Michelle Malkin Investigates" on CRTV.com. Her email address iswritemalkin@gmail.com. To find out more about Michelle Malkin and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2017 Michelle Malkin
 

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