Illegal Immigrant Crossings on the Rise

Two men illegally cross the border fence separating Arizona and Mexico / AP

Two men illegally cross the border fence separating Arizona and Mexico / AP


The immigration debate hit a turning point when the New York Times revealed that illegal immigrant crossings are rising, according to the Washington Examiner.

The flow of immigration crossings shifted to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas following the increased security measures in Arizona.

Yes, the number of illegal crossers is down from a dozen years ago as the U.S. economy remains a less powerful magnet than it once was. “But after nearly a decade of steady declines, the count has started to rise again over the past year,” the Times reported. “The Rio Grande Valley has displaced the Tucson enforcement zone as the hot spot, with makeshift rafts crossing the river in increasing numbers, high-speed car chases occurring along rural roads and a growing number of dead bodies turning up on ranchers’ land, according to local officials.” […]

It’s happening in part because the American economy, hit so hard by the economic downturn, is finally improving, becoming a draw again for immigrants, especially those from Central America who travel through Mexico on their way to the Texas border. Also, crime remains a terrible problem in many immigrants’ home countries. And word is spreading that the U.S. Congress is contemplating a measure to legalize millions of illegal border-crossers.

That is the backdrop for this week’s Senate debate on border security in the Gang of Eight plan. Democrats are dead set against any proposal that would make permanent legal status and a path to citizenship contingent on measurable improvements in border security. On the other side, many Republicans believe those improvements will never happen unless the law says legalization won’t be allowed without security first. The only question is whether Republicans will stick to their guns or give in to Democrats.

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) argued over the number of immigrants allowed into the country under the Gang Eight’s bill during a Senate Judiciary Committee debate.

Sessions argued about findings from reports suggesting the number would be more than 20 million in addition to the 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.

Schumer retorted, “This argument that there are going to be 20 million new people in this country under this bill ignores the fact that there are going to be lots of millions … in the country illegally if we don’t have a bill.”