Report: Barely half of illegal border crossers caught
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people have sought asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, a dramatic increase that shows how migrants have changed from mostly Mexican men trying to evade capture to more Central American families who often turn themselves in, a report for the federal government shows.
Asylum seekers, many of them fleeing drug-fueled violence south of the border, peaked in 2014 at 170,000, nearly triple the 63,000 who arrived the previous year. Before 2012, there were fewer than 30,000 a year.
In the 2015 fiscal year, the number declined to 140,000 people, according to the report by the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded research organization that was tapped to help develop new measures of border security. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report from a government official involved in border issues who acted on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public.
“The dramatic increase in asylum seekers since 2011 may represent a structural change in illegal entry behavior at the southern border,” the report said. “This trend is driving significant changes in how to enforce immigration laws and the demands for resources for enforcement.” – READ MORE