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'Virtual fence' plans for US borders described by DHS

[JURIST] The US Department of Homeland Security [official website] laid out its plans to put up a "virtual fence" along the US borders with Canada and Mexico [JURIST news archive] during a press conference Friday announcing that Boeing Corp. has been awarded a $67 million contract to begin the project [DHS press release; Boeing press release]. The virtual fence, a key part of the DHS Secure Border Initiative [Border Patrol fact sheet], will consist of sensors, cameras and drones designed to prevent illegal immigration [JURIST news archive], drug trafficking and terrorism. The system will be rolled out first along 28 miles of the US-Mexico border near Tucson, AZ.

Last week, the US House passed a bill providing for the construction of 700 miles of physical fencing along part of the US-Mexico border and also calling for a study to determine whether a fence should be constructed along the Canadian border; the Senate is considering the measure [JURIST reports]. The two chambers have been unable to reach an agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill [AP report]. CanWest News Service has more.

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