One year ago this week, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout in a remote smuggling area near Tucson, says the Arizona Republic. Since then, federal authorities have ramped up the number of agents patrolling the entire southwestern border, particularly the region where he was shot. Alan Bersin, Customs and Border Protection commissioner says, “The level of violence has come down [ ] We are taking back this corridor. The progress is quite obvious. We’re determined that Brian Terry did not die in vain.”
The number of illegal immigrants arrested along the border was down 53 percent in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2008. Given the progress, federal authorities are considering a reduction in the number of National Guard troops stationed on the border. In 2010, President Barack Obama announced that he was temporarily sending 1,200 troops to help secure the border. In Arizona this past year, agents apprehended just 129,118 people, the lowest number in 17 years. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents also seized about 1.2 million pounds of marijuana, a slight decrease.