Illegal Immigration Still on the Rise

Katie Pavlich

5/13/2013 4:33:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

In April, Townhall reported illegal border crossings had doubled in light of amnesty talk on Capitol Hill and potential cutting of Border Patrol hours.

"We've seen the number of illegal aliens double, maybe even triple since amnesty talk started happening," an agent told Townhall, who asked to remain unnamed due to fears of retaliation within Customs and Border Protection [CBP], something he said is common. "A lot of these people, although not the majority, are criminals or aggravated felons.  This is a direct danger to our communities."

Data obtained by Townhall and reported within CBP from February 5 through March 1, 2013 shows 504 illegal aliens were spotted exploiting the Tucson/Nogales area, 189 were caught on CBP intelligence cameras.  Of those 504, only 174 were apprehended and 32 of the 189 on camera were carrying large drug load packs for Mexican cartels. Some were armed with AK-47 style weapons.

Now, the Arizona Daily Star is reporting after an eight year drop, illegal immigration from south of the U.S. border is on the rise again.

The number of people apprehended along the Southwest border is rising for a second fiscal year after an eight-year decline.

As of April 2, 192,298 people have been detained this fiscal year, compared with 170,223 during the same period last year, unofficial data shows.

The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Apprehensions in the Tucson Sector - the busiest section of the border - are down 1 percent so far this year to 64,514. But the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, arrests are up 53 percent to 59,147. Apprehensions are used as an indicator of how many people are crossing into the United States.

Most of the recent growth in apprehensions is due to more Central Americans attempting to cross, unofficial data shows.

Just last week the Senate Judiciary Committee defeated all efforts to secure the border before granting amnesty.

A bloc of 12 pro-immigration senators blocked a GOP amendment to freeze the proposed legalization of 11 million illegals until the border is secured, highlighting a fundamental political divide on the first day of voting on the far-reaching Senate immigration bill.

“The bill is … legalization first and enforcement later, and just opposite what the people think they’re getting, and opposite to what many members of Congress think is in the bill before us,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, the leading Republican on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

The defeat, however, gives critics an obvious argument during national debates over the immigration bill. Numerous polls show strong public demand for a secure border with Mexico.