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Border Drug Seizures Up, Migrant Seizures Down

Audio

Aired 7/17/09

Federal officials say narcotics seizures along the U.S. Mexico border have hit an all time high and apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have dropped. As KPBS reporter Amy Isackson explains, officials claim both show success, but border analysts question that.

Federal officials say narcotics seizures along the U.S. Mexico border have hit an all time high and apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have dropped. As KPBS reporter Amy Isackson explains, officials claim both show success, but border analysts question that.

Federal officials say they've hauled in 64 percent more drugs along the border during the last nine months compared to the same time period the previous year. They say the number of illegal immigrants they've caught is down 26 percent. Officials say the successes come as they've added more agents, fencing and technology at the border.

David Shirk who directs the University of San Diego's Transborder Institute, says in terms of illegal immigration,fewer people are crossing the border because there aren't jobs in the U.S. "Billions of dollars of investments in border security in the last decade has meant relatively little in the actual trend we're seeing right now."

Border agents say they nabbed 52 percent more marijuana in the last nine months compared to the same time period a year ago. Shirk says that hasn't caused a marijuana shortage in the US.

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