The U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday presented its national strategy for the next four years at a time when illegal immigration is falling.
The new guidelines, the first to be issued in eight years, emphasizes the use of intelligence information to guard the country’s borders.
They also seek to optimize the use of human resources, with the number of personnel having been doubled to 21,000 agents in recent years.
Border Patrol director Michael Fisher outlined the new strategy at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
Since fiscal year 2008 illegal immigration has been reduced by 53 percent, he said.
“At the same time, according to 2010 FBI crime reports, violent crimes in southwest border states have dropped by an average of 40 percent in the last two decades. Currently, some of the safest cities in America are border communities,” Fisher said.
“Every key measure shows we are making significant progress, however, we must remain vigilant and focus on building upon an approach that puts the Border Patrol’s greatest capabilities in place to combat the greatest risks,” the director added.
This new strategy is based on the one designed in 2004, which was crafted taking account of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the reason why security measures were intensified in the first place.
A study released last month by the Pew Hispanic Center indicates that the historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States has ended.
Between 2005 and 2010, some 1.4 million Mexicans migrated to the United States compared to 3 million in the previous five years.
At the same time, the number of Mexicans who left the United States for Mexico rose from about 770,000 between 2000 and 2004 to almost 1.4 million between 2005 and 2010.