Photo: Arrests at border drop
According to federal statistics, the number of arrests of those heading north across the U.S.-Mexico border illegally has dropped by more than half in the last five years.
In 2006, the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants was 1,071,972. Last year, that number was cut by 58 percent when the number of arrests dropped to 447,731.
During his speech in El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, President Obama said that over the last two and a half years, cash confiscations have increased by 75 percent, drug seizures by 31 percent, and weapons seizures by 64 percent, and since 2006, the number of border agents has doubled.
U.S. Border Patrol Agent David Jimenez, of the Tucson Sector, said agents’ biggest challenge now is organized crime and not migrants crossing, trying to find work.
“These smuggling organizations like to operate from dusk till dawn. They like to operate under the cover of darkness because they think they’re not going to be seen,” he said.
And while some suggest the increased border patrol is serving as a deterrent for those thinking about crossing, thereby leading to fewer being arrested, others say the U.S.’s struggling economy is a major factor. As all job seekers are struggling to find work, those thinking about crossing the border in search of it are now hesitating.