Stepped-up enforcement by the Border Patrol and National Guard appears to be deterring some would-be crossers of the U.S.-Mexico border, says the San Francisco Chronicle. From October to February, the Border Patrol made 30 percent fewer arrests of people trying to slip across the border this year than it did in the same period last year. Still, the Chroniclke found peopole who are determined to enter the U.S. Said one man, 39: “We’re migrating because the poverty in our countries gets worse every day.”
The Border Patrol added 1,000 new agents last year, and its force of more than 12,000 is backed up by several thousand National Guard troops. New measures include miles of concrete-filled steel vehicle barriers; surveillance cameras, motion detectors and flood lights; and mobile lookout posts equipped with infrared surveillance equipment. In New Mexico and West Texas, the Border Patrol has experimented with sending Mexican migrants before a judge, who sentences them to jail time rather than releasing them back across the border. The hardening of the border has encouraged more Mexican migrants to settle permanently in the United States, rather than return after each season of work. Immigration analysts say that’s leading more family members to follow workers north.