FENCE THIS. ...

FENCE THIS. For the best piece of newspaper reportage you'll read today, check out The Washington Post's exploration of the 700-mile fence that Congress passed -- with a provision making sure it'll never actually happen. As the bill was being passed, an amendment was tacked on allowing the president to divert the earmarked cash for whatever border security measures he deems appropriate or necessary. Goodbye metal fence, hello virtual one.

And that's probably for the best. The Post recounts the sorry history of the fence separating Tijuana and San Diego. That barrier, which is only 14-miles long, was originally estimated to cost $14 million. Instead, the first nine miles have required $39 million, and the DHS has appropriated another $35 million for the rest. Proportionally, that would mean that this longer, larger fence -- which will go through much less populous areas, requiring much more construction, landscaping, and even road building -- will end up costing $10.57 billion, not the $2 billion appropriated. And that doesn't even get into maintenance costs, flood protection, the chance that the newly flatted ground and constructed roads will aid migrants, the opposition of the city of El Paso and the Texas Border Sheriff's association, the environmental lawsuits, or anything else. What a boondoggle.

--Ezra Klein

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