Border Patrol: Less People Crossing Illegally
Border Patrol has said they're actually seeing a decline in the number of illegal crossings.
"One big factor is there's more troops on the ground," Morales added.
Back in 2005, there were 1,200 agents here in El Paso. Now that number's more than doubled to 2,700. Border Patrol also chalks up the decline to improved technology, like cameras at the border - and the fence.
"Since before the fence, we didn't have the extra time to respond if there was an entry," Morales said.
"We need to remember that we're talking about human beings," said immigration attorney Carlos Spector, who think the numbers can be deceiving. Border Patrol says the number of arrests is down 15% this year, but there's no way to calculate how many people crossed illegally and evaded arrest. But he agrees that it is more dangerous to cross, and word is getting out.
"Poor Mexicans are faced with either hunger or death in Mexico or incarceration here," Spector said.
According to Spector, a few years ago, undocumented immigrants preferred incarceration. But they're now being detained for much longer periods of time and he says some are choosing to stick it out in what many consider a war zone.
"If you have a defense for deportation you may go to one of the immigration camps and spend a year, a year and a half without bond, fighting it," he said.
"It's our job to gain control of our nations borders," Morales said. "It's our job to keep the members of this community safe."