Like Stewart, I’m mystified at the NYTimes article complaining about the failure to have a comprehensive exit program in place.  It seems typical of Congress —  if you don’t like a particular program (say, interior enforcement) support some different program as “more effective.”  It is always the “other” program or the “other” war or the “other” immigration expenditure that deserves support, not the one before us today.  But as Edward Alden says, the exit program isn’t a good candidate — the security justification for an exit system has yet to be made.

But what really seems unimaginable is that nobody has given the least thought to what a system like this would really cost.  And to work it would have to be installed at the land borders as well as the airports.  So, to take just one example, take a look at San Ysidro border crossing.  That’s 27 lanes of traffic coming into the US and just 4 lanes outbound.


Take the left side of this picture and just double it to the right side, and that’s what needs to be built — and San Ysidro is just one of our hundreds of land border crossings.  The costs would be many billions of dollars — and all for a program with marginal security benefit.  Color me skeptical.

This piece was originally posted on Skating On Stilts.