The Border Patrol’s San Diego sector reportedly caught 28,461 people trying to illegally cross the border in 2012. It’s the lowest number of apprehensions in more than a decade and a fraction of the 162,390 people caught in 2008.
The government credits improved security and fewer people trying to get across the border.
Immigration law professor at UC Davis Gabriel Chin said the latest numbers also indicate the immigration crisis that prompted state regulations like Arizona’s SB1070 law was in the process of solving itself.
“The economy in Mexico is getting better. Our economy was getting worse. The demand for labor in the U.S. was diminishing,” said Chin.
Chin was at UCSD to give a lecture in immigration reform Tuesday. While he supports securing the border, he said some non-citizens should be allowed to stay in the U.S.
“To the extent the undocumented, non-citizens have committed serious crimes – they should go,” he said. “If they’ve been law-abiding and if they’ve been the type of people we want as immigrants – they’ve worked, obeyed the law, formed families – then they should be allowed to stay. That’s what we’ve done in the past. I think that’s what we should do again.”