Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Shocking News from Texas -- Manpower boost isn't winning border battle Immigrant arrests down since 2000 despite rise in agents
Cappy White, Texas corrrespondent, forwarded this story from the Dallas Morning News:
It seems obvious: Adding 6,000 Border Patrol agents, as President Bush wants to do over the next two years, should spark a major surge in arrests of illegal crossers at the porous U.S.-Mexico border. But that outcome is far from guaranteed. Even as the Border Patrol has swelled from a force of little more than 3,000 agents two decades ago to 11,500 today, apprehensions have not inc! reased appreciably -- and in fact have risen and dipped in ways that even veteran immigration experts can't fully explain. What is clear is that increased manpower doesn't automatically translate into more arrests. Or make a dent in an illegal immigrant population that grows by half a million people annually and stands at an estimated 12 million. In 2000, the peak year for apprehensions, a Border Patrol force of 8,200 agents nabbed nearly 1.7 million illegal crossers. Four years later, with manpower up by 2,200 agents, arrests were down by more than half a million. In fact, the Border Patrol's nearly 1.2 million arrests in 2004 closely paralleled its record in 1987 -- when its force was one-third the size.
For the full story, click here.
The bottom line -- more border enforcement will result in more deaths and will not necessarily increase arrests or lead to a decline in the undocumented population. The logical question is this: why increased border enforcement -- including more Border Patrol officers, equipment etc. -- is the one part of immigration reform on which there is a consensus? i do not get it and have a hard time explaining it to anyone familiar with the facts. What gives?