The Department of Homeland Security’ Border Patrol has spent $240 million on a drone program that is — according to an internal audit — remarkably ineffectual.
People are worried that the DHS spent way too much money.
Each of the nine Predator drones that the DHS has on call cost about $18 million, and most of them are stationed on the Mexican border.
But that’s not all the costs.
The thing is, they cost $3,200 per hour to fly, and they’re not particularly effective at catching border crossers, according to iWatch News.
Over five years, drones only caught 4,865 undocumented immigrants. In 2011 alone, the entire Department of Homeland security caught 327,500 undocumented immigrants.
They’re not even using them much.
In fact, so far the Border Patrol’s drones have only met 29% of their mission objective, measured in flight hours.
That’s 4,800 illegal workers caught for $240,000,000 spent, which some argue is ineffective.
Moreover, the civil liberties implications raised by some watchdog groups suggest that the sacrifices to privacy are not worth the gain.
Homeland Security’s drones are now drawing fire from Washington.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) introduced a bill this week to ban the domestic use of drones for surveillance, and the ACLU has warned against the possibility that police will use the drones to monitor citizens without warrants.
The internal review of the DHS also points out that they have not planned for their drone program well enough. So far, the Border Patrol has “underutilized resources” which limit the ability to accomplish their goals.
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