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The governor of Texas is spending $5m installing web cameras along the state's border with Mexico so ordinary web surfers can get involved in stopping illegal immigration.

The idea is that a "virtual wall" will be created by putting night-vision cameras and motion sensors on private land near the border. Illegal immigration and violence has become more of a problem recently, thanks to a drugs war over the border.

The footage will be streamed in real time onto a website so concerned citizens snooping loons can watch for illegal immigrants. A freephone number will be set up so citizens can report any crimes they see, or think they see.

This comes despite problems with vigilante groups like the the Minuteman Project who last year started making their own armed patrols of the border.

Governor Rick Perry is promising to spend an extra $20m strengthening border patrols and will ask for the state legislature for another $100m in the next session.

The news reflects calls for a "virtual border" made yesterday by George W Bush and Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff. The Bush administration also announced an extra 6,000 border guards.

Perry complained of "federal inaction" and that the Department of Homeland Security is cutting border funding in Texas by 31 per cent despite supposed intelligence that Al Qaeda views the southern border as a prime entry point.

More on Governor Perry's website here. ®

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