US official: Illegal crossings drop in busy sector
By Natalie Flanzer
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- A top U.S. border official says the only area with more than 100,000 annual apprehensions of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico will soon be under that figure because the flow of immigrants is declining.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin said Tuesday the Tucson Border Patrol sector in Arizona dropped from 212,000 detained illegal border crossers in 2010 to about 120,000 so far this year. Bersin expects the total to fall below 100,000 in 2012.
Speaking at a border security conference in El Paso, Bersin credited the decline to the 6,000 agents now there and increased use of aircraft and drones in the Tucson sector.
Bersin says the U.S. recession and a growing Mexican economy have contributed to the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.