Can drones be used to promote border safety?

A drone is an unmanned flying craft, and can range from the size of a cellphone to the size of a normal plane. Some of these drones can even be outfitted with weapons, making them very useful in wartime situations, or with cameras, making them ideal for surveillance. The ability to fly an unmanned aircraft with a camera attached to it could be very useful in order to spot those attempting to cross the border illegally. Many people argue that the United States Customs Border Patrol (CBP) should begin using drones to defend our border. To answer that we need to know

  1. The cost of the drones, and
  2. How effective will they be?

1. How expensive are the drones?

CBP spent 360 million dollars on drones in 2005 for 11 drones. This means that each drone cost 32.7 million dollars. Now, this expenditure could be justified if these drones were to lead to a large amount of apprehensions correct?

2. How effective are the drones?

How many people did Tucson Arizona Border Patrol apprehend? As the above chart shows, in 11 months of 2013 Border Patrol apprehended 113,470 people. Of those, the drones accounted for only 1.8% or approximately 2042 people were caught due to the use of drone. This in my opinion is a total failure. It is possible that the drones server other uses. But if the only use of the drones’ were to stop illegal immigration, then it is a total waste of money. I hope they have other uses, lower the costs, or find better ways to spend our money.

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