Earlier this week, I traveled to Arizona and Texas with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David Aguilar to see DHS operations at the Southwest Border.
We visited the Port of Hidalgo, Pharr Bridge, CBP’s Air and Marine Branch, and the Border Patrol Forward Operating Base near Falcon Heights where we saw firsthand some of CBP’s capabilities along the Southwest border and recent investments in personnel, technology, and infrastructure. I had the privilege of hearing from and personally thanking some of the dedicated men and women on the front lines. They work hard every day, at great personal risk, to keep the communities along the border and our entire nation safe.
Protecting communities along on our borders is vital to our homeland security, as well as to our economic prosperity. Over the past three years, the Obama Administration has deployed significant resources and worked closely with partners at all levels—including other federal agencies, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement, the private sector and the government of Mexico- to secure our border.
This work is making a real difference. Nationwide, illegal immigration attempts, as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions, have decreased 53 percent in the past three years, and are less than 20 percent of what they were at their peak. Seizures of illegal drugs, currency, and weapons are all up, while violent crime in some of our largest border cities and communities has remained flat or fallen over the past decade.
As we move forward, we’ll continue to work to ensure our borders are safe and secure, while facilitating the legitimate trade and travel that is so essential to our economy.