When you have a lobbying operation as strong as the defense contractors or the drug industry you seem to always find a way to benefit from a major piece of legislation, even if the issue should have nothing to do with your industry. A case in point is the new bipartisan immigration reform proposal from the gang of eight. A key point in the plan say that we will throw a substantial amount of money at defense contractors in the name of border security.
To fulfill the basic governmental function of securing our borders, we will continue the increased efforts of the Border Patrol by providing them with the latest technology, infrastructure, and personnel needed to prevent, detect, and apprehend every unauthorized entrant.
Additionally, our legislation will increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance equipment, improve radio interoperability and increase the number of agents at and between ports of entry. The purpose is to substantially lower the number of successful illegal border crossings while continuing to facilitate commerce.
The proposal didn’t simply call for additional spending on whatever border enforcement tools prove to be most effective. It just specifically calls for buying drones. The Senators won’t there to be zero doubt about who was going to benefit.
It should seem very strange that dealing with the legal status of 11 million people in this country will be dependent on buying a lot of very expensive flying robots from well connected companies, but that is sadly the way Washington works right now.
If you support the overall package I guess the “positive” spin to put on this development is that it probably increases the chances that the defense contractors will throw their considerable lobby might behind the entire law to make sure they get their modest piece. Nothing seems to move in Congress these days without a lot of wheels being greased.