Break out the big foam fingers, because we're number one!
New figures released by the U.S. Border Patrol show for the first time ever, south Texas, specifically the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, was the single most popular entry point for illegal immigrants in 2013, muscling out the Tucson Arizona sector, which had held that dubious distinction for a decade.
"It has to do with what criminologists call displacement," Shaun Moran, who is a leader of the Border Patrol Union tells 1200 WOAI News. "They will go where we are not."
The Border Patrol apprehended more than 154,000 people on illegal entry charges in 2013, that is up from 87,000 in 2012. At the same time, 120,000 people were arrested for illegal entry in the Tucson sector, that is up just 1,000 people over 2012.
Something else is changing about illegal immigration. For the first time since figures began being counted, Mexicans were not the most numerous illegal border crossers in 2013. The category which is called 'OTM,' or 'Other Than Mexicans' accounted for well more than half of the arrests for illegal entry last year, with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras leading the way.
"We need to cut off what is drawing people here, and by and large that is jobs," Moran said.
IN fact, the strengthening Mexican economy and continued violence and poverty in Central America appears to be fueling much of today's illegal immigration. Numbers of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. from Asia are also up.
"Some people describe is a whack a mole," Moran said of the changing patterns of illegal immigration. "You try to hit it where it comes up, but it is always going to come up someplace else."