Thursday, January 31, 2013

Border numbers rise ahead of talks on immigration

Seeking to boost the bipartisan momentum in Congress for tackling immigration reform, President Obama said Tuesday that he now sees “a genuine desire to get this done soon” — but warned that the debate will get more heated in the weeks ahead. Mr. Obama traveled to Las Vegas to deliver a major speech on immigration just a day after a bipartisan group of eight senators announced a framework for a bill calling for most illegal immigrants to obtain legal status “on Day One,” with green cards and a full path to citizenship to follow once more action has been taken to secure the border. “The good news is that — for the first time in many years — Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together,” Mr. Obama said, blessing the broad outlines of the senators’ deal and saying the borders are secure enough to begin granting illegal immigrants citizenship. But the latest numbers suggest that illegal crossings from the Mexican border once again may be on the rise after falling for six years. The U.S. Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests on the border in fiscal year 2012, up 9 percent from 2011. The Border Patrol figures that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up, it means that the flow of illegal immigrants is rising as well...more

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