Skip to comments.Agency's illegal immigrant apprehensions and drug seizures continue to rise
Posted on 01/01/2005 12:03:01 PM PST by SandRat
SIERRA VISTA - The U.S. Border Patrol's drug seizures and illegal immigrant apprehensions rose for the agency's Tucson sector and Cochise County in fiscal year 2004 and continue to rise in the first quarter of fiscal year 2005.
Officials say these heightened numbers are a result of increased enforcement personnel within the county and within the Tucson Sector, which stretches from the New Mexico state line to Yuma County, a length of 261 miles.
The Border Patrol seized 362,351 pounds of marijuana and made 347,263 apprehensions during its 2003 fiscal year, which ran from Oct. 1, 2002 to Sept. 30, 2003.
Agents seized 446,754 pounds of marijuana during the fiscal year 2004, and apprehending 491,771 border violators. The 2004 fiscal year ran from Oct. 1, 2003 to Sept. 30, 2004.
Joe Brigman, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector, said the value of the marijuana confiscated can be approximated by multiplying the weight in pounds by $800.
Ninety-nine percent of illegal immigrants apprehended in the Tucson Sector are Mexican nationals, sector spokesman Charles Griffin said.
In Cochise County, Border Patrol agents seized 75,172 pounds of marijuana in 2003, and 175,854 illegal immigrants.
The Border Patrol seized 76,943 pounds of marijuana and 235,549 illegals in fiscal year 2004 within Cochise County.
"We increased our force by 10 percent with the 200 agents that we got," Griffin said. "And these are seasoned officers. They come from many sectors."
Griffin said the increase in apprehensions and seizures is "absolutely" a reflection of the increased ground support in the Tucson Sector and is not necessarily evidence of increased illegal immigrant traffic.
"They were targeting specifically the west desert region - Tucson to Ajo, basically," Griffin said, to prevent migrant deaths "and to grab hold of that area."
"That's been a strategy for quite a while," he said.
This Arizona Border Control Initiative began with the augmented federal border support on March 16, comprising the addition of not only patrol personnel but of more helicopters, "detail agents," and special operations agents. Some of the detail officers to the Tucson Sector are qualified as "Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue" agents who are trained as medical technicians in addition to border enforcement.
Border Patrol strategy or chosen route for illegal immigrants aside, the numbers have spiked again since the end of the 2004 fiscal year.
Since Sept. 30 through Thursday, the Tucson Sector has recorded 76,408 illegal-migrant apprehensions. During the same period last year, the number of apprehensions was 68,316. The comparison of the three-month time periods yields about an 11 percent jump in apprehensions during the first quarter of this year.
In the Naco-Douglas Corridor of the Tucson Sector, which comprises the area particular of Cochise County's apprehension statistics, the first quarter of fiscal year 2005 shows 37,987 apprehensions, compared to 76,408 for entire Tucson Sector.
Comparatively, the Yuma Sector, which is west of the Tucson Sector, has recorded 22,843 apprehensions in the first quarter of fiscal year 2005. Last year, the Yuma Sector recorded 8,192 apprehensions during the first quarter of the fiscal year.
The Yuma Sector recorded 56,638 illegal immigrant apprehensions total in fiscal year 2003, and 98,060 in fiscal year 2004.
In fiscal year 2003, there were 900,565 total on the entire southwest U.S.-Mexico border and 931,557 by Border Patrol nationwide.
For fiscal year 2004, there were 1,139,282 total apprehensions by Border Patrol on the southwest border and 1,160,395 nationwide.
The working motto of the new initiative is to "gain, maintain, and expand" U.S.-Mexico border enforcement, Griffin said.
For the urban border areas in Arizona, the statistics have changed in ways other than the reactive arrest and confiscation numbers since the mid-1990s, Griffin said. The preventive infrastructure established in Naco, Douglas and Nogales has served a proactive enforcement purpose, he said.
The walls were part of the now-tenured Operation Safeguard within the Tucson Sector.
"Property values rose tremendously," Griffin said. "Crime statistics decreased tremendously."
At that same time, during the mid-1990s and particular to each sector's needs, the El Paso Sector implemented Operation Hold the Line and the San Diego Sector implemented its Operation Gatekeeper.
For such permanent infrastructure, Griffin said, environmental impact studies are done prior to construction. Though no plans to construct another wall in Douglas have been filed, there is an environmental impact study contract under way in that urban border area in Cochise County.
Griffin said the Tucson Sector is well-known as a high-traffic region for illegal migrants, as it comprises approximately 40 to 45 percent of all illegal crossings along the entire southwestern U.S. border.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said interpretation of apprehension statistics is widely subjective, but added the Sheriff's Department certainly appreciates the Border Patrol and other agencies' presence and dedication in the county. It can be debated indefinitely whether or not increased arrests are the result of more border-crossing activity or improved law enforcement, he said.
"What we do know is that there are still hundreds of thousands of people crossing our border here in Cochise County," Dever said. And while some are caught, many aren't.
He added the county and its courts, health services and residents continue to suffer because of illegal immigration and drug smuggling from Mexico. He feels that without reaching a state of complete border security, "there is no rest."
Tighten the Border
Even easier... just enforce the law.
The Border Patrol is doing a great job against overwhelming numbers. My question is, where are all those "apprehended" illegal aliens now? Were they deported?
President Fox thanks you, the ruling oligarchy of Mexico thanks you and the poor of Mexico thank you.
>>"We increased our force by 10 percent with the 200 agents that we got," Griffin said. "And these are seasoned officers. They come from many sectors." <<
Didn't the Ridge or the President say he would increase the Border Patrol by 10,000?
Marine inspector; Does the loss of these are seasoned officers reduce the effectiveness of other areas?
Starting out 2005 with a joke? Atta girl, keep your sense of humor.
Yeah, me too either.
Only momentarily, then back the next day or the next week.
The vast majority were given voluntary deportation, then tried again the next day and probably made it safely past the primary enforcement area. They then have to make it past the highway checkpoints 30 miles north of the border.
If the checkpoints are in operation, the coyotes end up with a backlog of passengers hidden away all over the southern end of the county. There are literally thousands out there hiding in the brush at any given moment waiting for their rides.
It was one of the few border measures that survived being cut from the Intelligence Reform Bill. It called for 10,000 additional BP agents and 2,000 more ICE agents over the next five years -- contingent on availability of funding and no funding was provided.
They deserve a raise. Arizona is the model for what ALL states should be doing.
That answers the ques, why isn't anyone doing anything about illegals? Now if we just had that good of Border Patrol in Texas enforced by a good Gov.
How 'bout closing the REVOLVING DOOR on the borders ??
Geeez.....'lawmakers love passing new laws for citizens every year. How 'bout a few new laws against these border jumpers ??
Seems like no GW 'proposals' will ever work until illegals are made to respect our borders.
Something like the first time your caught sneaking in a 5 yr. wait 'until you can apply for any legal papers......Second time caught, you can never apply to come here legally.
at first glance I thought the headline was calling the apprehensions illegal.
Hardie, har, har, har. Catch and release is the current policy.
Agents seized 446,754 pounds of marijuana during the fiscal year 2004
Hey!! Theyre just bringing in the weed that Americans are too lazy to grow themselves!
Anyone who believes Fox was sincere about making any reforms needs to read this --- more drugs than ever coming out of Mexico. The drug cartels are perfectly safe with Fox in charge.
Well, something is working. Hey SandRat, did you also post the article about apprehending wanted felons?
Turns out the IAFIS system wasn't supposed to be implemented until today, but was put in early and has already resulted in nearly 24,000 known felons being ID'd and processed in the last three months...
Imagine that, enforce the law against third world anarchy and property values go up, someone tell the politicians this.
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