Texas Insider » Preserve Virtual Fence, Border Advocate Argues

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano should see the virtual fence in Arizona in action before making a decision about the billion-dollar program’s fate, challenged the president of a prominent border organization.

According to accounts from various sources, Napolitano has never returned to her home state to see the Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) as it actually works today while contemplating the future of the program, under review since January 2010.

SBInet, under contract to the Boeing Co., is currently in the latest of several one-month contract extensions through Jan. 17 while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) weighs its future.

But no decision on the program would be complete if Napolitano and Alan Bersin, commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), did not visit the system in person, asserted Nelson Balido, president of the Border Trade Alliance (BTA).