Commentary: The high cost of building a border wall

Mrs. or Ms. Hilton and Monahan, I read both your letters (DSN Jan 17/18 “Pelosi, gang selling out U.S.”; “The mainstay of the media”).

One accuses one own gender of selling out the country over the immigration issue (Pelosi) and one continues to toot the horn of our current POTUS (Trump) who has more flaws than cheap glassware.

There has to come a time when the powers that be put the brakes on Trump, since his own party chooses not to do so. Mrs. Monahan, how can you accuse the Obama administration of their misdeeds? How soon we have forgotten what was laid at his feet in ‘08. Trump cannot take one iota of credit about the jobs coming back to America or the unemployment rate being its lowest,

He (Trump) did not have to face the current recession or had to face two of them (G.W. Bush). Some of the letters I read refer to the SFA (Secure Fence Act 2006), but notice not one person posted the numbers on what the this wall/fence will cost during this period. Let us all be enlightened, shall we?

The reason the fence was not built was the cost estimated at being $4.1 billion. Congress did not fully fund it, only putting aside $1.4 billion. Add together the cost, including maintenance, upgrades etc, $50 billion over 25 years according to analysis at that time.

The Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) spent $2.3 billion to deploy fencing along the southwest border. The CBP’s annual budget is $3.55 billion, so do the math. The CBP will need to continue to spend a substantial amount to maintain all this technology. CBP didn’t add cost estimates of maintaining the vehicle/pedestrian fencing, which would amount to well over $1 billion over 20 years.

Congress and CBP during 2010-15 cannot measure the contribution of the fence due to lack of metrics and data. The cartels found new ways to bypass the fence. During 2010-15, there were 9,287 breaches with a total repair cost of $784 per breach to repair. Add that up over time.

The fence also caused more fighting between the cartels and obstructed wildlife on both sides of the border.

All of this over $3.5 billion or whatever number out current president comes up with.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lonnie Brewer is a resident of Dover.

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