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Report: Border Security Is Tougher Than Ever Because of Ramped-Up Enforcement

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Unauthorized immigrants trying to enter the U.S. are having a tougher time than ever before because of ramped-up security at the border, Homeland Security reports. 

A report by the agency’s Office of Immigration Statistics found that an estimated 55% to 85% of immigrants trying to cross the border illegally are stopped, the Washington Post reports. Thats compared to stopping 35% to 70% a decade ago.

The report also says illegal immigrants making repeated attempts to cross the border are declining significantly because they are giving up.

“Available data indicate that the southwest land border is more difficult to illegally cross today than ever before,” the report states, adding that the number of arrests reached the lowest point since 2000, “and likely since the early 1970s.”

The Post wrote:

The department has made even bigger improvements in its ability to discourage and deter migrants from making repeated attempts to cross, a category known as “recidivism,” the report states. In previous decades, just 10 to 40 percent of illegal border crossers gave up after their first attempt ended in an arrest. Today that figure is as high as 75 percent, the report said.

Another sign of the difficulty, DHS notes, is the increase in smugglers’ fees, which have jumped “from a few hundred dollars in the 1980s to almost $4,000 today, accounting for inflation.”

The number of U.S. agents assigned to the Mexico border has nearly doubled since 2004, and Trump has called for 5,000 additional officers. But falling numbers of would-be migrants mean there have been fewer suspects for them to arrest. Last year the U.S. Border Patrol made about 20 arrests per officer, leaving many to go days or weeks without taking anyone into custody.

“There are agents in El Paso who go a whole month without making a single arrest,” said Adam Isacson, a border security expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, which advocates for migrant rights.


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