Border Beat: Ocean Border Fence Gets an Upgrade, Arrests Hit New Lows, and More

Acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection visits El Paso

Acting commissioner for the United States Customs and Border Protection David Aguilar traveled to El Paso, Texas to meet with local law enforcement agencies and shared promising news.

“In the Tucson sector, where we have historically have had the highest level of activities in relation of illegal immigration, we closed out the year with 123,000 apprehensions. A 17-year low,” said Aguilar.

“These are numbers that we have not seen in decades. These are numbers that tell a very telling story,” he added.

Aguilar also commented on the possible change of policies for undocumented immigrants, as attempts to cross into the United States illegally have dropped.

“We are now able to take a look at each one of those apprehensions individually, do the research, and apply what we believe is the best application of what is available to us in order to make an impact on that individual not to cross back into this country illegally.”

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Enforcement in West Texas and New Mexico

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers who work the port of entries in west Texas and New Mexico conducted 110 enforcement actions at port of entries last week, said the CBP. Actions included undocumented immigrants, drug smuggles, among others.

The CBP said the enforcement actions included 15 drug seizures – uncovering nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana and less than one pound of heroin.

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The Surf Fence Project

The southern border fence that extends into the Pacific Ocean dividing Tijuana, Mexico and Imperial Beach, Calif. is getting some improvements.

“The new fence will not only be aesthetically appealing but will strengthen our abilities to prevent dangerous maritime smuggling attempts along the international border shoreline,” said acting assistant Chief Patrol Agent Justin De La Torre with U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector.

The older fence was in place for 18 years. The upgrades will include steel pipes, which will be filled with concrete. 300 feet of the new fence will extend into the ocean. The project will be complete in early March, said officials with the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego sector.

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Concerns of Trash along U.S./Mexico Border

Trash is piling up in some areas along the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona. Henry Darwin, director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality shared his concerns last week with state lawmakers. Trash is left often in remote areas, making it difficult to collect.

One official with the Arizona DEQ told Fox News Latino that in 2010 undocumented immigrants left behind an estimated 2,000 tons of trash. However last year they saw a decrease because of the drop in illegal crossings.

The Arizona DEQ has launched a website to help with clean up efforts.

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