Apprehensions of immigrants for illegal crossings drop in 2012

The government says apprehensions of people for federal immigration violations have dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, reflecting a decline in the northbound traffic of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, reported The Associated Press.

Apprehensions for immigration violations peaked at 1.8 million in 2000 but dropped to 516,992 in 2010—the lowest level since 1972, according to a report released on Wednesday, July 18th, by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

At the same time, the number of suspects booked by the U.S. Marshals Service for criminal immigration offenses has gone up dramatically, a function of tougher law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border.

Suspects arrested by the Marshals Service for federal criminal immigration offenses increased from 8,777 in 1994 to 82,438 in 2010.

In a seven-year span ending in 2010, the number of border patrol officers nearly doubled, from 10,819 to 20,558, the study says.

The number of Mexican citizens serving a federal prison term for an immigration offense increased from 2,074 in 1994 to 17,720 in 2010. Nine out of 10 immigration offenders in federal prison were convicted of illegal re-entry or illegal entry offenses. Ten percent were convicted of alien smuggling.

More than eight out of 10 deportable aliens in 2010 were citizens of Mexico. An increasing share of deportable aliens are coming from countries in Central America, 12 percent in 2010, up from 3 percent in 2002.

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About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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