As Congress considers an overhaul of immigration laws, including a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, many are asking if the Southwest border is secure enough to withstand any new wave of illegal crossings. The New York Times says the officers who guard the line say the border is more secure in most places than they have ever known it.
Arizona once was the busiest and most contentious border battlefront. To the east, in Texas, agents are still struggling to stop persistent migrants in hundreds of miles of penetrable terrain. In Arizona, every available measure shows steep declines in the number of people making it across, figures that border agents say demonstrate what they can accomplish. Congressional Republicans recall that an amnesty in 1986, which was supposed to solve illegal migration, was followed by a larger unauthorized influx. A bipartisan group in the Senate is working on a proposal that would require measurable gains in border security before immigrants would be allowed to proceed to full citizenship.