Now Reading
Border arrests up despite new immigration law

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Immigration SB1070

Border arrests up despite new immigration law

  • Border crossing in Nogales.
    bavetta/FlickrBorder crossing in Nogales.

Arizona's tough new immigration law apparently hasn't slowed the rate of illegal border crossers into the state.

The U.S. Border Patrol arrested 148,000 more people in the Tucson sector between October and April, 8,000 more than the same period a year ago, reports Reuters.

"I don't care if they tell me they're going to give me life in jail. I'm still going to keep on trying," Roberto Santos, 30, told Reuters as he sat in Nogales, Son.

"There's no other option, Mexico's dead – I just don't want to be here anymore. I don't have a life here anymore," added Santos, who spent more than a decade in Los Angeles, before being recently deported.

But some have decided to give up, reports the Associated Press.

Carmen Gonzalez, 27, recalled seven days and six nights of walking with her husband in the desert and being accosted by Mexican thugs with AK-47s, who demanded $100 bribes before abandoning them.

"It was so hard and so ugly," Gonzalez said at a shelter in this Mexican border town, where she, her husband and her brother were staying after being deported from Arizona. "I won't try again because we went through too much suffering in the desert."

On Wednesday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticized Arizona's new law while visiting the White House saying, "such laws as the Arizona law that is forcing our people to face discrimination. If we are divided, we cannot overcome these problems," reports ABC News.

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl - both from Arizona - used Calderon's complaints to blast the Obama Administration over its lack of border security.

"I would call on President Calderon to take a look at the law that governs Mexico today and has for many years and to compare that law to the Arizona law. And, I would also suggest that he surely supports legal immigration - not illegal immigration - doesn't he?" Kyl said, according to KTAR

McCain's message for President Obama is, "If you don't like the bill that the legislature passed and the governor signed in Arizona, then carry out the federal responsibility, which is to secure the border. You probably wouldn't have had this problem," reports KTAR.

But an increased crackdown won't stop some desperate crossers.

"We heard about Arizona's new law on the news, but we need work," Gerardo Perez, told Reuters.

"We have to try, there's no food in the house."

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder