Report: Millions Wasted In Constructing Border Fence

By Ruxandra Guidi
December 09, 2011

SAN DIEGO -- In the last three years, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has spent approximately $1.2 billion to build a total of 299 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

According to the audit, CBP purchased much more steel than it needed. It also came up with a budget estimate before legally acquiring land or meeting international treaty obligations.

Photo by Ruxandra Guidi
A patched-up portion of the steel fence along the U.S.-Mexico border separating Tijuana from San Diego.

And as a result of storing the unused steel, CBP incurred high storage costs, and even interest on late storage payments.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General said the $69 million dollars "could have been put to better use."

But in an email response to a request for an interview, a CBP spokesperson refuted the report's findings. The spokesperson said the funds actually helped with: "The successful completion of the fence within the strict time constraints."