If you’ve noticed fewer illegal drugs and immigrants in your neighborhood, you can thank the new fences along the Mexican border and stepped up border patrol efforts, according to the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP).
The fences and patrols resulted in the seizure of over 3.3 million pounds of narcotics during the first nine months of FY 2009 -- a 64.3 percent increase over last year -- and the prevention of entry into the U.S. of 129,779 illegal aliens, according to the CBP.
“What we are seeing is a result of increased border enforcement’s deterrent effect on illegal border crossings along with the result of our increased ability to confront continued illegal drug smuggling attempts across our borders,” said CBP’s Acting Commissioner Jayson P. Ahern in a press release. “We will continue to increase the pressure on drug and human smugglers by confronting them at every turn, including their attempts to smuggle weapons and bulk cash south of the border.”
Seized drugs included more than 2.6 million pounds of marijuana, 60,411 pounds of cocaine, 4,384 pounds of methamphetamines, and 1,463 pounds of heroin. Border Patrol agents also confiscated $43.9 million in bulk cash as well as 772 weapons, including rifles, handguns and shotguns
Of the 129,779 inadmissible aliens denied entry into the U.S., 23,386 turned out to have criminal records. CBP officers seized 19,530 fake or fraudulent documents used in attempts to gain illegal entry.
Since 2006, CPB reports it has added 11,212 enforcement personnel, and completed 493 miles of fencing along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
The entire 670 miles of illegal immigrant preventative high-tech fencing was to have been completed in February 2008, but when goodies like radar, infrared body heat sensors, night vision cameras and satellite phone networks ran up the cost from $4 million to more $7.5 million per mile, the project slowed down.