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June 20, 2006
The US now has approximately 950 Border Patrol agents stationed on the 5,525-mile long US-Canadian border. The 1,950 mile-long US-Mexico border has 10,300 agents. In 2005 the Canadian border had approximately 1000 agents and the Mexican border 9,600. The increased number of agents and troops along the Mexican border makes a difference, but the net result is just to make people smugglers richer. As more areas of the border become well guarded, smugglers charge more to get people in via more remote areas. The greed, and often callousness, of the smugglers has helped change Mexican public opinion towards the illegal migrants. More and more Mexicans are looking at the exodus as a sign of Mexican failure. Why must Mexicans move north of the border to find economic success? Why not in Mexico?
Good question. As I've noted before, it's a question that Mexican Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been asking, too, and he's gone up in the polls since he started asking it.