Arrests at the Mexican border continue to drop
POSTED: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 1:26pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:55pm
WASHINGTON — The Border Patrol says arrests of illegal immigrants along the U.S. border with Mexico are at the lowest level since the Nixon administration.
Agents made 327,577 arrests along the Mexican border in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It's the sixth straight year that arrests at the border have dropped. Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deported a record 396,906 people in the last year. That's the first time in decades that formal removals from the U.S. outpaced arrests at the border.
The drop in the number of arrests suggests that fewer people are attempting to cross the border to live or work in the United States. The development could change the debate on illegal immigration from securing the border to handling the people who are already here.