“Virtual Border Watch” Goes Online

Last Friday, the Texas Border Watch went online, allowing heat-sensitive “Minutemen” to watch the border from the comfort of their own homes.

Texas has started broadcasting live images of the U.S. border on the Internet in a security program that asks the public to report signs of illegal immigration or drug crimes.

A test Web site went live Thursday at texasborderwatch.com with views from eight cameras and ways for viewers to e-mail reports of suspicious activity. Previously, the images had only been available to law enforcement and landowners where the cameras are located.


The cameras will operate at hot spots for illegal activity, such as Amistad Reservoir in Del Rio and Falcon Lake in Zapata, and other active border areas such as highway rest stops and inspection stations, officials said. Information e-mailed by viewers goes to the state’s operations center and local law enforcement in that area.

This is a pretty silly and unworkable program, made even more pathetic when it’s revealed later in the article that $5 million is being spent on the program. Seriously, how hard will it be for an aspiring drug deal/illegal immigrant smuggler to simply go to the website and thereby determine the location of the cameras? Not very, I suspect.

At any rate, I suppose that the existence of these cameras will make a lot of people feel better. After all, god forbid that *gasp!* somebody might have bypassed our ridiculous, byzantine, and inhumane immigration laws so that they can provide a better life for themselves and their families.

FILED UNDER: Race and Politics, US Politics, , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. floyd says:

    “god forbid that *gasp!* somebody might have bypassed our ridiculous, byzantine, and inhumane immigration laws.” no nation can exist with no borders. the above is just childish john lennon worship.[IMAGINE]. Fleeing tyranny is no longer a viable option in this modern world without frontiers. the Mexicans need to take a stand against their corrupt government instead of illegally encourageing the peonage of the American people. orson scott card’s inane rationalizations disqualify his work from crossing the threshold of my home again. sad to say because he is a talented writer. i cannot further support someone who OPENLY advocates grinding poverty for my grandchildren.

  2. floyd says:

    If there were immediate danger, then card’s arguments would have some merit. but the threat to the Mexican population does not merit refugee status. The analogy should read more like this;…. Alfy sits reading a used orson scott card novel while eating a meager lunch of a peanut butter sandwich and water. He looks across next door to see Betty eating ham&cheese on rye with a coca-cola while playing a game on her laptop.Thinking this to be unfair, he is willing to force Betty to share by any means necessary.Without asking, he throws down the peanut butter, storms onto Betty’s property, grabs half of Betty’s ham&cheese, then demands the laptop and the coca-cola. This causes mild resentment in Betty who was already supporting programs, costing a sacrificial amount of her wealth, to improve Alfy’s lot, and daily sending aid his way. When Betty refuses to hand over the laptop or the coca-cola, she is called a heartless bigot who had no right to her property in the first place.Alfy even makes his demands in a language not familiar to Betty, further demanding an interpreter.Alfy is strong enough to intrude on betty’s property,but is afraid to stand against the bullies who are stealing his prosperity at home.The bullies[let’s just call them Vicente& Felipe] have all the ham&cheese they desire at Alfy’s expense, and without Alfy’s resistance. What’s it all about Alfy? poor, poor, Alfy.