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WHY IT MATTERS: Immigration

Published: Oct 3, 2012 11:00 am By: ALICIA A. CALDWELL

"Illegal immigration has slowed in recent years, with the Border Patrol recently recording the fewest arrests in almost 40 years. But many people worry that the Mexican border, the most popular crossing point for newly arriving illegal immigrants, still isn't secure more than a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the last several years, the government has spent billions building a fence, doubling the number of Border Patrol agents and adding a slew of high-tech gadgets to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. The numbers tell a compelling story: In the last budget year, the Border Patrol arrested about 327,000 people at the Mexican border. In 2006, agents made more than 1 million such arrests.

Obama's administration also deported a record number of people last year, nearly 400,000. The government has been shifting its focus to finding and deporting criminal immigrants and those who otherwise pose a threat to security."

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