The crisis du jour in the U.S. is now the "immigration border crisis": thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border. Although the crisis is not one of detecting these immigrants, but of discovering an ethical response to their plight, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is wasting no time demanding money for surveillance equipment.
As reported by NBC News, "[t]he White House wants an additional $3.7 billion to deal with the current crisis, with $39.4 million committed to air surveillance — including funds meant for 16 additional crews to operate and maintain drones" (See "Eyes in the Sky: Are Pricey Border Patrol Drones Worth the Money?")
The immediate challenge will be for immigrants rights and civil liberties activists in states on the southern border -- California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas -- to redouble their efforts to keep the drones on the ground.
But just how long do the non-border states think it will be before those drones are being "borrowed" by local law enforcement or other federal agencies for all kinds of purposes, in all kinds of places?
(See "No Drones in LA!")
Fort Bliss in El Paso, an authorized basing/training site for Reaper drones and smaller-scale Shadow and Raven drones. Two other anchors of Texas' "drone zone" are on the Gulf Coast . . . .
(See Texas' Militarized Border: How Will Drone Politics Impact the 2014 Midterm in the 23rd? )
(See Jan18: Albuquerque Protests Drones )
(See Arizona Drone Bases)