The amount of immigrants being deported from the United States is currently at a 40-year low, according to officials. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report regarding the number of immigration-related apprehensions on July 18. The report states that the number of apprehensions made for people without U.S. citizenship has dropped to 516,992, which is the lowest it has been since 1972.
Some experts are weighing in on their ideas as to why the number has dropped so significantly since 2000, which had 1.8 million cases that year. According to Fox News, the number of border patrol officers doubled from 20,819 in 2003 to 20,558 in 2010, which University of Texas sociology professor Nestor P. Rodríguez believes may partially be responsible for the number drop. However, Rodriguez argues that are a number of other circumstances factored into these low figures as well.
“The U.S. economic slump, more economic stability in some Mexican areas, increased U.S. enforcement on the border and in the interior plus the drop in the total fertility rate in Mexico are likely among the reasons for this drop,” Rodríguez told the source.
One of the tactics the United States government has used within recent years to apprehend border crossers is to send them back to places that are far from where they entered. By doing this, there is a lesser chance of them being able to get back in contact with their smugglers, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
Nine out of 10 immigrants being held in federal prison were charged with crimes related to illegally entering the country or conviction of immigrant smuggling. According to The Associated Press, more than eight out of 10 deported immigrants were native to Mexico.