Big Winner in Immigration Plan: Defense Firms
Calls for specific equipment could bring companies tens of millions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2013 10:19 AM CDT
A Black Hawk helicopter returns from a mission at Forward Operating Base Edi in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

(Newser) – The defense industry must be loving the Senate's highly particular new Mexican border security plan. Under the legislation, the Border Patrol needs to purchase six Northrop Grumman airborne radar systems—each at $9.3 million; 15 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters, which go for about $17 million; eight American Eurocopter choppers at $3 million; and 17 Bell Helicopter models that aren't built anymore, the Washington Post reports. Normally, such purchases are made through a bidding process, but the co-sponsors of the plan—Republicans Bob Corker and John Hoeven—say they decided to get specific in order to win support from GOPers seeking stronger border controls.

The senators didn't actually create the list themselves, though. It was actually assembled in 2010 by Border Patrol officials at the behest of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and those officials handed it to congressional staffers upon request. Most of the equipment is listed according to type rather than manufacturer, and under the proposal, Napolitano can switch manufacturers if she lets Congress know within 60 days, note Corker and Hoeven. Open bidding hasn't been ruled out, say Senate staffers, but watchdogs aren't so sure. "Lawmakers have put their thumb on the scale for particular products and technologies and that is hard for an agency to ignore," says one.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
1freeusa
Jul 4, 2013 7:13 AM CDT
Im shocked! lol Now that our rulers have a military that outspends the most other nations of the world combined, it is time to rule the citizens with intimidation like they do the nations of the world.....The republicans and the democrats play "good cop / bad cop" against the citizens and for the puppet master that we dont even know of.
NovatoLady
Jul 2, 2013 11:27 PM CDT
If this is true, Republicans should pass it with flying colors since they never met a business they didn't like.
KennyLLC
Jul 2, 2013 10:59 PM CDT
That oughta give the drug lords and Mexican federales something to shoot at. They're probably all ordering anti-aircraft equipment with money exchanged at the WalMart currency service desk as we speak.