A $2 million border camera project started by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has yielded just 11 arrests and 8 drug busts. That’s 1,189 fewer arrests than what Perry anticipated. Only 300 undocumented immigrants were reported to the U.S. Border Patrol, compared to the 4,500 that were expected.
125,000 people registered to serve as “virtual Texas deputies” and monitor the border cameras on the website “BlueServo.” Camera watchers found it difficult to determine the difference between animals and undocumented immigrants crossing the border. One vigilante wrote:
“Just a word of warning: A moment ago I saw a spider crawl across the top of the camera…You might want to try and prevent any webs from being spun across the lens area by treating with repellent or taking other measures.”
That’s a bit different from the picture Perry excitedly painted in 2006:
“Under the watchful eyes of law enforcement and the American people, criminals who smuggle drugs and human beings, predators who commit violent crimes against citizen and immigrant alike, and terror groups looking to exploit our border will all lose their greatest strategic asset: the cloak of secrecy. Enforcing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, but Texas will not wait to act.”
The border camera project has run out of money and Perry has asked for another $2 million to keep it alive. Perry made a name for himself earlier this year when he threatened secession and rejected $555 million in stimulus funds.