The Border Security Expo is like Disneyland for the anti-immigration crowd.
Last month, federal officials gathered in Phoenix, Arizona to talk about how to better equip Border Patrol agents along the 2,000 mile Mexican border. Everywhere you turned at the expo were guns, drones, armored trucks, robots, night vision and other surveillance equipment that sometimes cost upward of $200,000.
In 2012, the Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan group focused on global issues, the government spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement programs. Last year, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have included a $40 billion increase for border spending.
These companies are recognizing a lucrative U.S. market and these gadgets are expected to reduce the number of Border Agents on the border.
Joseph Battaglia, President and CEO of Telephonics Corporation in Farmingdale, New York told Fusion, “You will not need as many agents. Two agents can cover a significant piece of the border.”
Still, it had us wondering – what’s the need for equipment similar to the Iraq War on the border?
Fusion’s White House Correspondent, Jim Avila asked Alex Solis of G Squared Consulting, “Do people crossing the border normally carry stun guns?
Solis responded, “We don’t know…they are carrying a lot of things.”
Credit: Jim Avila and Serena Marshall