December 6, 2011
The number of illegal immigrants arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to decline, down to a 40-year low.
About 327,000 people were apprehended during fiscal year 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security. This figure is the lowest recorded by the federal government since the Nixon administration.
The total of illegal crossers arrested has fallen dramatically from 2000, when 1.6 million were caught by Border Patrol agents.
The decline in arrests corresponds with a significant drop in the number of illegal immigrants trying to enter the U.S., according to experts.
“We have reached the point where the balance between Mexicans moving to the United States and those returning to Mexico is essentially zero,” Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, told the Washington Post.