From the Washington Post:
We’ve enacted almost all of the border security that the Bush administration had wanted in 2007, dramatically ramping up personnel, detention facilities, border infrastructure, and technology.
Legislators now want to ramp up these efforts even further as part of comprehensive immigration reform. But is our border really more secure because of these additional measures? It’s a question that’s actually quite difficult to answer, as the American Immigration Lawyers Association lays out in a new report.
The Obama administration has touted success by pointing to the numbers of apprehensions along the southwest border dropping to the lowest level in 40 years in 2010. Violent crime in border cities has also dropped steadily in recent years.
The problem is, the decline in the sheer number of apprehensions doesn’t necessarily mean that border security is more effective. Experts point out that illegal immigration as a whole has plummeted since 2007 in significant part because of our economic downturn. Border arrests in 2012, in fact, are up to 356,873 from 327,577 in 2011, the AP reported this week, which could suggest that the number of apprehensions has been contingent at least in part on the economy.
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