Invisible Mexican Border Fence All But Doomed Homeland Security to decide soon on project's fate By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Oct 22, 2010 4:43 AM CDT 17 comments Comments A United States National Guard unit patrols the Arizona-Mexico border in Sasabe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file) (Newser) – If the "virtual border fence" being constructed along the Mexican border was visible, there still wouldn't be much to look at. The high-tech project has been allocated $1 billion over the last 5 years, but has produced just 53 miles of unreliable coverage along the 2,000-mile border—a cost of around $19 million per mile for a system that doesn't work. The Department of Homeland Security appears to be preparing to cut its losses and abandon the project, the Los Angeles Times reports. Boeing, the main contractor on the project, has confirmed that Homeland Security has decided not to exercise a one-year option for the company to continue work on the project, and extended the deal only until mid-November. A Homeland Security spokesman says the Customs and Border Protection will decide "if there are alternatives that may more efficiently, effectively and economically meet our nation's border security needs." The project ran into trouble right from the start, when Homeland Security set demands that existing technology couldn't meet.