Who’s crossing the Mexico border? A new survey tries to find out


Brad Plumer
washingtonpost.com
June 7, 2013

Last year, the Border Patrol caught about 356,000 immigrants trying to cross illegally at the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s thought to be about half of all attempts.

Undocumented Mexican immigrants walk through the Sonoran Desert after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. (John Moore/GETTY IMAGES)

It also isn’t much of a deterrent. About 43 percent of those detained say they’ll try to cross again in the near future — often because they’re trying to get back to a job or family members waiting for them in the United States.

That’s one upshot of a big new survey (pdf) from the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona. The researchers interviewed more than 1,000 detainees at the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector in 2012.

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