Our View: An evolving problem
Time not being spent worrying whether the United States government will shut down, might be spent considering some of the other national headlines of interest.
For example, 10 days ago Vice President Biden traveled to Mexico City where his praised the Mexican economy. Biden said unlike other visits he has made to Mexico, this trip didn’t focus on security issues and instead focused on trade.
Couple Biden’s remarks with statistics released Monday by the U.S. Border Patrol and it is hard to ignore a reality that an improved economy in Mexico may be one solution to illegal immigration in some places along the border.
Recent statistics reported by the U.S. Border Patrol showed apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the border in 2013 has increased in Texas, and decreased in Arizona, New Mexico and California.
Further, the number of Mexicans being apprehended — as opposed to people from Central America and other countries — has also dropped. The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project said Mexican illegal immigrants is down five percent since 2007.
While the Tucson Sector Border Patrol can argue that one reason for the drop in arrests has been a near-doubling of agents over the past decade — from 2,100 to almost 4,000 — the same cannot be said for other BP sectors.
The most recent statistics raise the question of whether the current immigration reform legislation, which has been pushed to a back-burner while Congress figures out whether to shut down the government, represents a real solution for an evolving problem.
Unlike Texas, the challenge of illegal immigration in Cochise County may be more tied to security and crime issues, and not as related to the economic welfare of the native country.
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