Judicial Watch Obtains New Statistics on Human Smuggling in Arizona’s “Tucson Sector” of the Mexican Border
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detailing statistics related to human smuggling in Arizona’s “Tucson Sector.” The Tucson Sector is the Border Patrol’s busiest sector on the Southwest Border and covers 262 miles of linear border. Among the data uncovered by Judicial Watch:
The total number of persons smuggled and apprehended:
The total number of smugglers identified:
The total number of smugglers deported:
The total number of immigration infractions referred to U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution:
The documents also include data related to the number of “Other than Mexicans” smuggled and apprehended by Border Patrol. According to the documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the number of individuals from the People’s Republic of China smuggled across the border and apprehended increased from 15 in FY2008 to 79 in FY2009, nearly a five-fold increase. The New York Times reported on January 22, 2010, “In fiscal 2009, 332 Chinese immigrants were caught in the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector, up from 30 the previous year, Border Patrol figures showed. And in what could be a sign of a record-breaking pace for this year, agents in the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector arrested 281 Chinese immigrants from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, the first quarter of the current fiscal year.”
The CBP documents also show significant increases were seen from Romania and Dominican Republic. The largest overall volume increase was Honduras, which went from 353 in FY2008 to 516 in FY2009.
CBP originally indicated the agency did not “maintain” statistics related specifically to human smuggling. However, in response to a Judicial Watch appeal, CBP subsequently notified Judicial Watch that the agency did, in fact, have the ability to create human smuggling statistical reports from an Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) database known as ENFORCE.
Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request on January 26, 2010 and appealed the CBP’s contention that the agency does not maintain human smuggling data on April 23, 2010. Judicial Watch ultimately received the requested data on August 19, 2010.
“These statistics show that human smuggling continues to be a crisis on the nation’s southern border. And the problem is only going to get worse as a result of the Obama administration’s hostility to the strong enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, especially in Arizona,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.