Decline In Cross-Border Activity Decreases Apprehensions
A continued decline in illegal cross-border activity between ports of entry along the Southwest border has brought U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol apprehensions down 24 percent compared to the previous year.
Between Oct. 1-June 30, Border Patrol agents made 682,468 apprehensions along the nation’s southern border compared to 894,496 apprehensions during the same period last year. The Yuma, Ariz., and Del Rio, Texas, sectors experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of 68 percent and 51 percent with 34,140 and 18,286 apprehensions respectively. The number of alien apprehensions, not including Mexicans, dropped 48 percent along the southern border, which totaled 43,135 through the third quarter 2007. Because of the lowered apprehensions, the time agents spend transporting and processing has decreased and time spent patrolling the border has increased.
Under the Secure Border Initiative, CBP continues to enhance border security through a comprehensive approach of implementing innovative programs to include the expansion of expedited removal. Operation Streamline and Operation Jump Start may also expand, and this allows for the hiring of additional Border Patrol agents, whose numbers may go up to 6,000 by the end of 2008. The integration of technology, tactical infrastructure and CBP’s increased ability to detain other-than-Mexicans, provides Border Patrol agents additional tools that support the border security mission.
Additionally, Border Patrol agents have seized more than a 27 percent increase in marijuana and a 22 percent increase in cocaine compared to the same period in the fiscal year before. The combined estimated value of the narcotics is $1.487 billion, according to CBP.gov.