The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently released a report about the unprecedented increased border security since September 11, 2001. Between 2006 and 2011 the number of Border Patrol agents doubled by nearly 10,000 agents, from 12,185 in 2006 to 21,444 in 2011. The report also notes that since the increase in Border Patrol agents there has been a lower incident of violent crime along border cities and there has also been a decline in the number of apprehensions of undocumented aliens at the border. These facts lead some to believe that the increase in Border Agents has lead to a decrease in undocumented immigration. However there may be other factors at play, such as the economic downturn the United States has suffered since Fall 2008.
Ultimately AILA concludes that “[m]issing from these proposals is a proven way to measure when the border is reasonably secure.” Calls for increased border security control continue even while border apprehensions are at their lowest rate in 40 years. Some Republicans, including Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio, have pushed for any potential immigration reform bill to make the road to citizenship contingent on increased border security. Border security could very well become the linchpin to comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform in 2013.