'Virtual Fence' Cleared For Arizona Border

Troubled system already operational
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 12:14 PM CST

(Newser) – The government has just given the green light to a 28-mile “virtual fence” along the Arizona/Mexico border, the AP reports. The system, which uses cameras, radar, and other sensor devices to detect border jumpers, is already partially constructed, and working. Last week Border Patrol caught 38 would-be illegal immigrants thanks to a system tip off.

Still, the fence hasn’t been without its problems. First, it was late, and then it didn’t work properly, forcing the government to halt payments to manufacturer Boeing. Lawmakers are still skeptical. “This is not the end of the Project 28 story,” said one Democratic congressman. “We need to understand what went wrong.” Michael Chertoff will announce the system’s approval later today.