For the past twenty years, U.S. Border Control has closely monitored the heavily trafficked immigration areas along the U.S. borders. However, the amount of border crossings has reached a 40-year low, according to reports, so Border Control has developed a new strategy to catch repeat offenders.
On May 8, Border Control revealed that officials will target the people who have repeatedly attempt to cross the border, and analyze why these individuals are continuing to try a crossing. Some experts believe the individuals that keep attempting to cross are trying to reunite with their family or have been recently deported, according to CBS.
These efforts hope to clear up some of the ambiguity long held by Border Patrol personnel, such as Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher.
“This whole risk-based approach is trying to figure out who are these people? What risk do they pose from a national security standpoint? The more we know, the better informed we are about identifying the threat and potential risk,” Fisher told the news source.
The strategy came after the need for heavy security has fallen in recent years. According to CBS, last year was the slowest year since 1971. The Border Patrol only captured 327,588 migrants, an 80 percent decline since 2000 when the agency apprehended more than 1.6 million.
According to ABC San Diego-based affiliate 10News, some immigration advocacy groups are upset about the new strategy because it will punish the repeat offenders rather than send them back. Pedro Rios, a member of the American Friends Service Committee believes the strategy is in place to give the Border Control agents something to do.
“It further criminalizes migrants who potentially might have immigration benefits,” Rios told the source. “They simply want to work and if you address immigration policy by criminalizing those people, then it’s going the wrong way.”