Government officials have announced a plan to turn over the first section of the "virtual fence" along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico frontier to the Border Patrol in January, but it remains unclear whether the system will ever cover the entire border.
Once the turnover takes place, a total of 23 miles of the border in Southern Arizona will be covered by the system which includes cameras, ground sensors and radars mounted on towers, but officials are saying that they have not yet decided if and where to build more sections, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"We do want some time to look at whether or not that really does make the most sense," said Mark Borkowski, the director of the virtual fence project, quoted by the news source.
He specified that some of the issues the officials will have to consider include whether it makes sense to spend limited resources to cover the entire border and whether there may be cheaper but equally effective approaches.
This sentiment was echoed in the editorial which appeared in the Aurora Sentinel that pointed out that it cost taxpayers about $1 million a mile to erect the system.
Moreover, "expecting these barriers to do much good until comprehensive immigration reform takes place is a waste of time," it adds.
The project was developed during the Bush administration as part of a border security plan designed to add another layer of protection, along with thousands of Border Patrol agents and 650 miles of real fences.