The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Border Patrol has assigned more agents per mile to the San Diego sector as compared to other sectors that have historically been busier spots for illegal crossings. This is the case despite the fact that the San Diego sector has the shortest section of border and fences or vehicle barriers cover two-thirds of the sector’s boundary.The 60-mile San Diego sector has 37 agents per mile, while most of Arizona has 11 and the Rio Grande Valley and West Texas have nine. There are a total of about 15,000 agents on the Southern border, up from 9,500 in 2004. Border Patrol officials say transportation routes and mild weather in San Diego make it attractive to human traffickers and other smugglers, so the additional agents are needed. San Diego’s urban nature also makes it easier for illegal aliens to blend in. However, critics say the Arizona and Texas borders are harder to guard because they more open and have more rural places. The Tucson sector in Arizona has historically been the highest trafficked area. Speeding up installation of fencing along other sections of the border would help, but a proper mix of fencing and staffing is needed to provide the best deterrence. Thus far, Congress has been unwilling to approve fencing along the entire Southern border. This is needed along with the passage of the SAVE Act, which would turn off the jobs magnet that attracts illegal aliens in the first place.
Originally Published: Mon, Aug 11th 2008 @ 8:12am EDT