Despite SD Residents' Challenges, BP Arrests Low - NBC 7 San Diego

Despite SD Residents' Challenges, BP Arrests Low

At a meeting Wednesday in Alpine, residents brought their concerns to Border Patrol agents



     Border Patrol agents met with community members in Alpine Wednesday night to address questions and concerns regarding border security.

    Roughly two dozen residents came to the meeting at Alpine Elementary School to talk about how border security impacts their lives on a day-to-day basis.

    The meeting addressed the challenges residents are facing. Many of those residents have been caught in the path of smuggling attempts over the years, and live in rural areas where smuggling undocumented immigrants or drugs is common. 

    "We've had alien groups come across our property and the border patrol have been in pursuit," said Alpine resident Diane Francis. "That's always unsettling."

    Border Patrol Holds Community Forum

    [DGO] Border Patrol Holds Community Forum
    Arrests made by the U-S Border Patrol here in San Diego County has fallen to its lowest level in more than four decades. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales report.
    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013)

    Despite this, arrests made by the US Border Patrol in San Diego County has fallen to its lowest level in more than four decades. More than 28,000 arrests were made this past year, and that's the lowest since 1968.

    However, the technology to avoid capture is advancing. Border Patrol says their challenge now is outsmarting transportation cells on the Mexican side who are using remote control guidance to help their mules avoid being seen. 

    "They have resources to buy that sort of equipment," said Border Patrol Agent Tim Heck. "These folks, smugglers... are not dumb people. They're very clever and very smart."

    Agents say they're also doing their best to combat smugglers trying to avoid certain checkpoints, often using dangerous tactics.

    "There's something that takes place at that I-8 checkpoint," said Border Patrol Agent Wayne Jackson. "Something, some type of activity where we have to take action almost every day."

    Despite those issues, most of the public expressed approval of the job Border Patrol is doing.

    "I think they're doing the best they can with the resources they have," said Boulevard resident John Lumb. "They have physical challenges. Obviously the terrain, the time, manpower."

    Agents made a point to urge residents to report anything they see as suspicious.