Illegal border crossing continues to decrease

Illegal border crossing continues to decrease


EL CENTRO, CA - By air, vehicle and foot, border patrol presence has been reinforced along Border States like Arizona in the past few years.

And at the same time illegal border crossing is decreasing.

"Certain people are going to say it's because of the economy," said Adrian Corona, El Centro Border Patrol Supervisor. "If you talk to a border patrol agent… they're likely going to say 'in the last couple of years, we've ramped up our personnel, we've ramped up our foot print on the border,'" he added.

According to federal border patrol officials it is arguably uncertain what has caused a steep decrease in illegal immigration. 

They say about 340,000 immigrants were apprehended in 2012, compared to more than a million in 2005.

In the El Centro sector those numbers are also dropping drastically.

"In 2012 we apprehended 8,000 illegal immigrants," said Ronald Nazareno, El Centro Border Patrol Public Affairs Officer. "This time last year we had approximately over 10,000, that's a 20 percent decrease."

However, there is a growing concern about immigrants still attempting to cross in the U.S.

During a Border Security Expo in Phoenix last week federal officials said that immigrants who continue to cross are criminally motivated; for example, drug smuggling.

But local border patrol officials say that's not the case in the El Centro Sector.

"Here we're seeing mostly people trying to come illegally, not so much them trying to come across carrying drugs," said Corona.

He says that's mostly because El Centro Sector does not have as many remote areas like Tucson and Nogales.

Agent Corona also says they have safety programs on the other side of the border to warn people of the dangers of crossing.

"We do that with the intent of trying to dismay people from entering in the first place."


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