TECATE, Mexico (AP) - Mexican shelters, usually the last stop for northbound migrants, are filling with southbound deportees. Fewer migrants are crossing in the wind-swept deserts along an increasingly fortified border. Far to the north, fields are empty at harvest time as workplace raids become more common.
Mexicans are increasingly giving up on the American dream and staying home, and the federal crackdown on undocumented workers announced yesterday should discourage even potential migrants from taking the risks as the United States purges itself of its illegal population.
U.S. border agents detained 55,545 illegal migrants jumping over border walls, walking through the desert and swimming across the Rio Grande River between October and June. That's down 38 percent for the entire border compared to the same period a year before.
U.S. and Mexican officials say increased border security, including 6,000 National Guard troops, remote surveillance technology and drone planes, have thwarted smugglers who had succeeded for years at beating the system.
Migrants also say they feel Americans are increasingly hostile toward immigrants.