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Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Immigrant crossings into Arizona on the rise

May 19, 2010

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— The migrants walk for days through miles of mesquite scrub, running low on food and sometimes water, paying armed drug thug “guides” and dodging U.S. law enforcement officers along the way. And still they keep coming.

The latest figures show that Arizona, which is about to put into effect the nation’s toughest immigration law, also is the only border state where illegal crossings are on the rise.

While tightened security and daunting fences in Texas and California have made Arizona a busy crossing corridor for years, migrant smugglers now are finding new ways through the state’s treacherous deserts.

Carmen Gonzalez, 27, recalled seven days and six nights of walking with her husband in the desert and being accosted by Mexican thugs with AK-47s, who demanded $100 bribes before abandoning them.

Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities April 28 at the border in Nogales, Mexico. Illegal crossings from Mexico into Arizona have increased this year as Arizona takes immigration enforcement into its own hands under a controversial new law, U.S. Border Patrol statistics and accounts from migration monitors in Mexico indicated.

Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities April 28 at the border in Nogales, Mexico. Illegal crossings from Mexico into Arizona have increased this year as Arizona takes immigration enforcement into its own hands under a controversial new law, U.S. Border Patrol statistics and accounts from migration monitors in Mexico indicated.

“It was so hard and so ugly,” Gonzalez said at a shelter in this Mexican border town, where she, her husband and her brother were staying after being deported from Arizona. “I won’t try again because we went through too much suffering in the desert.”

New U.S. Border Patrol statistics show arrests on the Arizona border were up 6 percent — by about 10,000 — from October to April, even as apprehension of illegals dropped 9 percent overall. The agency uses arrests to gauge the flow of migrants; there are no precise figures on the number of illegal crossings.

Statistics from the Mexican side also show a rise in illegal crossings through Arizona.

Grupo Beta, a Mexican government-sponsored group that aids migrants, helped 5,279 people from January to April in the area across the border from Douglas, Ariz., compared with 3,767 in the same period last year, said agent Carlos Oasaya.

That’s the same area where Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was fatally shot in March as he surveyed his property in an all-terrain vehicle. Authorities suspect an illegal immigrant who was headed back to Mexico and worked as a scout for drug smugglers.

The killing helped fuel the emotion around the Arizona law, which will empower police to question and arrest anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. It takes effect in July.

Immigration is likely to be at the top of the agenda Wednesday when Mexican President Felipe Calderon visits Washington and attends a state dinner at the White House. Calderon has condemned Arizona’s law; President Barack Obama has called it “misguided” and promised to begin tackling an immigration overhaul.

Supporters of the Arizona law said Tuesday that the growth in arrests at the border didn’t spur its passing.

Instead, it was a series of factors, including the discovery of a growing numbers of immigrant safe houses and a rise in crime by illegal immigrants who have injured and killed police officers, said state Rep. John Kavanagh.

In the 1990s, increased enforcement and corrugated metal and chain-link fences dramatically cut illegal border crossings in California and Texas.

Overall, illegal immigration through those two states, New Mexico and Arizona has declined from nearly 1.2 million in 2005 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.

Immigration experts have long predicted the decline in crossings would reverse as the U.S. economy recovers.

“The fact is that as long as there remains an economic disparity between the U.S. and Mexico and other Latin American countries, enforcement and sanctions and any other measure won’t stop the flow of migrants,” said Charles Pope, interim director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

Despite the recent spike in illegal crossings into Arizona, entering the state illegally is getting tougher.

U.S. Border Patrol drones scan for drug and migrant smugglers in the desert. Twelve-foot steel walls now separate the crossings through Nogales, south of Tucson, and Agua Prieta across from Douglas.

Comments

Flap Doodle 3 years, 11 months ago

Who else is sneaking illegally into America? "HOUSTON -- A Homeland Security Alert is asking Houston police and Harris County Sheriff’s deputies to keep their eyes open for a potential terrorist. The alert focuses on Mohamed Ali, a suspected member of the terrorist group Al Shabaab. It indicates he may be traveling to the U.S. through Mexico...." http://www.khou.com/news/Homeland-Secuir-94020394.html

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 11 months ago

What is sad, is that some Americans are detained and held at the border and made to pay money and that money is collected from the US immigration officials. Go to Nogales at night and watch the money flow into the officials hands.

Sheriff Joe will lock them up. If those who question detention of some of the illegals, then those persons should go to Arizona and see the riff raff of humanity coming into the state. It equates to some of the problems of the Wyandotte county riff raff that has caused problems in Lawrence recently.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 11 months ago

Felipe Calderon doesn't mention how his government handles illegal crosses on their southern border with Guatemala. Mexico use's much more force than the United State's or Arizona's new law will allow.

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Ray Parker 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes We Can finish that dang border fence.

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gr3sam 3 years, 11 months ago

Is Arizona actually right in moving forward on their new law?

The Border Patrol interviews at these links indicate that the public is being misled as to who is coming into the US from Mexico. See these links to view what is being reported by WSBTV in Atlanta.

Video 1 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438021/index.html

Video 2 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438712/index.html

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gr3sam 3 years, 11 months ago

Is Arizona actually right in moving forward on their new law?

The Border Patrol interviews at these links indicate that the public is being misled as to who is coming into the US from Mexico. See these links to view what is being reported by WSBTV in Atlanta.

Video 1 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438021/index.html

Video 2 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438712/index.html

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barrypenders 3 years, 11 months ago

She meant 'Lawbreakers' crossing illegal.

These 'Wise Latinas' and 'Hard working Latinos' have done such a wonderful job of creating Mexico into a place to ' Retire' that they can't help leaving and coming here to make this country a wonderflul place to live.

I wish the PADs wouldn't 'Profile' all Latinos as the same 'Wise' and 'Hardworking' people.

Stimulus, PAD Profiling, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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