Southwest Border Fence Hits 500-Mile Mark

AP, December 17, 2008

The government has completed 500 miles of fencing along the Southwest border, 170 miles short of its goal.

At this pace, the administration expects to have at least 600 miles complete by Jan. 20, when Barack Obama takes over as president, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said earlier this month.

The president-elect said last week that he wants to evaluate what’s working on the border as he considers whether to continue building the 670 miles of fencing. But by Chertoff’s estimation, there will not be much left to build.

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The fence along the U.S.-Mexico border is not intended to stop illegal immigration altogether, but make it more difficult for people to enter the U.S. illegally, Bush administration officials say.

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Boeing Co. has the contract for the technology portion of the fence, as well as for some construction work. The company’s contract for the technology expires in 2009.

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