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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Texas to Install Border Web Cameras

AP Online
via NewsEdge Corporation

Under the plan, announced on the eve of the state GOP convention, cameras and other equipment would be supplied to willing landowners and placed along some of the most remote reaches of the border. The live video would be made available to law enforcement and anyone else with an Internet connection.

Viewers would be able to call day or night to report anything that looks like trespassing, drug smuggling or something else suspicious.

The governor plans to pay for it all with grant money the state already has, and wants the first cameras in place within 30 days.

The Border Patrol already has lots of its own surveillance cameras along the border, but the images are not made available to the public. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar did not comment directly on the governor's plan Wednesday, but said: "We are looking forward to the opportunity to sit down and discuss it with him to ensure that whatever is done will be aligned with the efforts of the Border Patrol."

Luis Figueroa, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, warned that the cameras could lead to racial profiling and vigilanteism.

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