News In Brief

Illegal crossings on the rise in Arizona?

Lilly Fowler May 18, 2010

The AP is reporting that “new U.S. Border Patrol statistics show arrests on the Arizona border were up 6 percent — by about 10,000 — from October to April.”

Why is this significant? The Border Patrol uses arrests as an indicator of the number of migrants crossing the border. According to the BP, these numbers could indicate illegal crossings are on the rise, despite what some see as the harsh immigration law taking effect in July in Arizona, and which, Mexico has issued a travel warning over.

BUT… the same story cites that apprehension of illegal immigrants is down 9 percent overall in the state.

Most importantly, when you look at the hard numbers in states like New Mexico and Arizona, an overall sharp decline is evident: New Mexico had nearly 1.2 million illegal crossings in 2005, compared to 541,000 last year, according to the Border Patrol. “In Arizona, illegal crossings fell from 578,000 in 2005 to nearly 250,000 last year — before the recent rise.”

No doubt, part of the reason some immigrants have stopped making the hard journey is due to the economy: Why risk your life to come to a country where, like at home, you’ll be left without a job?

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