Recent Illegal Immigrant Apprehensions

Immigrant Apprehensions

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Border Patrol are constantly apprehending illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United States. It can be impressive the lengths that people go to enter the country illegally and these agencies have to constantly be vigilant of those that are increasingly creative with their methods and tactics. Furthermore, potential illegal immigrants are assisted by sometimes wealthy groups and individuals with the resources and manpower to devise ways around fenced borders, guarded border checks, Coast Guard-monitored ports, and radar-monitored airspace. Recently, the U.S. Border Patrol found a 250 foot-long tunnel under the Mexico-Arizona border that had been dug out of solid rock and was complete with electricity and a ventilation system. It is suspected that Mexican drug cartels dug the tunnel to transport drugs, weapons, cash, and people across the border.

Sometimes illegal immigrants are bold and brash and attempt to enter the country right under the noses of border and coast enforcers. Last April, Border Patrol agents boarded a boat that had successfully docked in the San Diego bay in broad daylight carrying three women and four men of Mexican nationality into the country illegally. The 22 foot 1975 Chrysler boat was confiscated by the Border Patrol and its passengers were detained at a U.S. Border Patrol processing facility. More recently, Jairo Marte-Gomez, a man of Dominican Republic nationality obtained a Puerto Rican drivers license and was nabbed boarding a plane from San Juan to New York City. The Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Marcelino Borges commented on this particular case, saying, “Every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are vigilant seeking individuals who try different means to reach the U.S. and circumvent detection. CBP officers are trained to detect counterfeit and/or fraudulent documents and continually use their skills to deter illegal immigration.”

While CBP and ICE agents can be very good at their jobs, they aren’t perfect and illegal immigrants somehow make it into the country on a daily basis. It is estimated that there are over 10 million foreign nationals in the U.S. illegally. Surprisingly, this is actually a decrease from the year before. Due to poor economic conditions, many illegal immigrants are actually leaving the U.S. thinking they can do the same or better in their home countries. Converse to conventional logic, many of these departing immigrants are intercepted at the border, questioned, oftentimes detained, and even formally processed and deported. This may be a case of CBP and ICE focusing energy and resources to a pointless cause. However, the intention is to catch employees of Mexican drug cartels that might be transporting drug money and firearms into Mexico. However, the federal government, in response to critics and illegal immigrants themselves who have indicated that they would rather just go back to their home countries than be detained, has instigated a “deport yourself” program where illegal immigrants can be deported more or less on their own terms, which could take some pressure off of the immigration enforcement system.