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Illegal crossings shift from Arizona to Texas

PHOENIX – As the debate over illegal immigration continues in Washington, the flow of undocumented people coming into the country has shifted from Arizona to Texas.

Arizona’s tough control on border crossings kept the numbers at a low, but according to The New York Times, the numbers are rising in southern Texas.

“But after nearly a decade of steady declines, the count has started to rise again over the past year, driven by the rise in the southern tip of Texas, where the numbers so far this fiscal year are up 55 percent. Since October, 94, 305 individuals have been apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley alone, topping the count in Tucson for the first time since 1993.”

To some in Washington this is a never-ending battle, but politicians who have backed up a long-awaited immigration bill refuse to believe that the fight against illegal immigration is far from over.

“I have been on the border of Arizona for the last 30 years,” Senator John McCain, a Republican from that state who is one of the eight authors of the overhaul bill, said during the debate last week. “To somehow say there have not been significant advancements in border security defies the facts.”

And as immigration is shifting from Arizona to Texas, border patrol agents not only have to worry about the lack of equipment due to cuts in the federal budget, but also about increasing corruption from the inside.

“Corruption has also been a problem: two Homeland Security auditors, until recently based in McAllen, were indicted in April on charges that they falsified documents when they were supposed to be investigating a string of cases in which Border Patrol agents had been helping smuggle illegal immigrants and drugs into the United States.”