Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Illegal Immigration Slows As Border Cracks Down

Good news on the border:

All along the U.S.-Mexican border, there are signs that the measures that the U.S. Border Patrol and other agencies have taken over the past year, from erecting new barriers to posting 6,000 National Guardsmen as armed sentinels, are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

For 10 years, Eduardo Valenzuela has been crossing the Mexican border near Yuma, Arizona, illegally, trekking over desert scrub and hopping on a freight train to get to his job with a construction company in Phoenix, Arizona.

But on a recent afternoon, Valenzuela and four travel companions from his hometown of Los Mochis plopped down on a bench in a park in the border town of San Luis Río Colorado, exhausted and dispirited. Border patrol agents had caught them two times over three days, hounding them with helicopters and four-wheel-drive trucks.

"It's become much more difficult," Valenzuela said, echoing the comments of dozens of other migrants.

The only barometer to gauge whether migrants are being discouraged to attempt entering the United States is how many migrants are caught. In the past four months, the number has dropped 27 percent compared with the same period last year. In two sections around Yuma and near Del Rio, Texas, the numbers have fallen by nearly two- thirds, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security say.

Gee. Who would have thought that building barriers and adding personnel would slow the flow of illegal immigration. Still, I think this story ought to be taken in a "that's good progress, now we've got a long way to go down that track" kind of story, and not a "our work is done here" kind of story, which the media no-doubt wants it to be.