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The Border Patrol's emphasis on securing the U.S. - Mexico land border has forced more and more would-be illegal aliens to the seas in an attempt to come to this country illegally. Since 2003, the number of Border Patrol agents has doubled and border fence has been extended. All of this means that it is harder for those wishing to come to the U.S. illegally to do so successfully.

Michael Carney, deputy special agent in charge of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego, said,"Your options are to go east through the mountains and the desert, or west through the ocean, or you tunnel underground.... I think they found that going west through the ocean is probably their best bet."

The statistics seem to prove Carney right. Between October 2009 and August 24, Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) agents arrested 753 suspected illegal aliens along the Southern California coast -- up from 400 during the previous 12 months and 230 the year before that. CPB agents have spotted 85 vessels since October, up from 49 the previous 12 months and 33 the year before that.

CPB agent Tim Feige paints a bleak picture of the agency's increasingly difficult task: "It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is the Pacific Ocean."

Click here to read more about the Border Patrol's increased efforts to catch would-be illegal aliens at sea.

Interior Enforcement
National Security
Illegal Immigration
border control