Illegal border crossings dropped 90 percent during the past decade due in part to increased border security, according to a report the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released to Congress.
About 170,000 people illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in 2015, a 90 percent decrease from the 1.7 million who entered the country illegally in 2005, according to an executive summary of the report, obtained by the Arizona Republic.
The report attributes the decline in illegal immigration partially to tougher border restrictions, saying that, “the deterrence rate of illegal immigration at the border has risen substantially, and the probability of apprehension has also risen.”
The summary does not explain the metrics used to calculate the 90 percent drop in illegal crossings, but it takes into account internal Customs and Border Protection data, as well as surveys of deported migrants in Mexico.
The chances of being caught while entering the U.S. increased to 54 percent from the 36 percent success rate in 2005. Apprehending 54 percent of all illegal crossings is well below the 80 percent goal Border Patrol has set before Congress.
DHS released the full report only to Congress, and Arizona Rep. Martha McSally says the public has a right to see the full picture.
“I’m not surprised by these findings,” McSally said in a statement. “Independent studies have put our border effectiveness rate at roughly 54 percent. Given that DHS knows these facts, they need to stop pushing misleading measurements that don’t show the full picture and creates mistrust with the American public.”
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