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It may take a few years for President Trump to put up his wall, but in the meantime the Border Patrol is upping its game with flying drones.
On a clear day, the drones can be seen patolling the skies along the border between the United States and Mexico. They help agents see where they cannot go so easily -- the unpaved miles of desert, cactus, scrub brush, and gangly trees.
Actually, there are only three drones at work so far in the test program. But they are already covering a lot more ground than a wannabe wall, and they are a whole lot cheaper.
Eyes in the Sky
Border Patrol Agent Jason Weatherby told Fox News that the drones are their "eyes in the sky." They help agents detect illegal immigrants, and then apprehend them faster.
"It is a lot quicker to deploy this and fly it down two miles to the border, than us trying to drive it," Weatherby said.
According to the report, the U.S-Mexican border stretches almost 2,000 miles but with less than 20 percent of it fenced. To fill the gap, Trump proposes building a wall at an estimated cost of $25 billion.
Drones sell for as little as $100, but they also pose some challenges.
Other law enforcement agencies have employed drones to watch people on the ground. Sheriffs in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Alameda counties, for example, already use them.
Privacy and civil liberties attorneys, however, warn against their use. In Los Angeles, where police approved a drone program, the American Civil Liberties Union urged people to protest.
"[Y]our conversations, protests, and even private activities in your own home or backyard may soon be documented by the Los Angeles Police Department," the organization said.
The protests failed, but at least no one was arrested.