The Political Economy of the Virtual Wall
18 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2020 Last revised: 18 Feb 2020
Date Written: November 29, 2019
In addition to using physical walls the United States government has attempted to restrict movement across the U.S.-Mexico border by constructing “virtual walls.” Virtual walls involve applying advanced surveillance and detection technologies to border enforcement. The U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in numerous initiatives intended to establish a virtual wall along the Mexican border. We explore two negative consequences of virtual walls — the entanglement of private defense firms with government through crony relationships and the violation of the liberties of both non-U.S. and U.S. persons.
Keywords: border security, surveillance, virtual walls, rent seeking, civil liberties, cronyism, immigration
JEL Classification: D63, D72, D73, J15, K37, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation