Fewer Illegals Being Detained on U.S./Mexico Border

Posted on 07/16/13

Arrests of Illegal Immigrants Crossing the U.S. Border Fall By More than One-Third

This week I came upon an article in the Washington Post regarding the arrests of illegal migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border that truly surprised me. The article cited that only 327,000 people were apprehended by U.S. Border patrol in fiscal year 2011. This is down from a peak of 1.6 Million in 2000. The article provides a few reasons for the decline: the economic downturn in the U.S. (thus less employment opportunities for immigrants), an increased presence of U.S. Border Patrol agents on the border, tougher illegal immigration laws in U.S. States (namely Arizona and Alabama), and amplified drug-violence in the border region. It is also interesting to note that the amount of money sent from the U.S. to Mexico has also dropped to only $21 Billion. The sharp and continuous drop in arrests since 2000 truly surprised me, and I will be interested to see if this decline continues in the next few years.