Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Center for Investigative Reporting received data on apprehensions of men, women and children by the Border Patrol last fiscal year. Most are from Mexico, but thousands of others come through Mexico and into the U.S. from Central American countries. Despite efforts by the Border Patrol to deter migrants from entering the country without authorization and curtail repeat offenses, interviews and data spotlight a revolving door where agents still see many of the same faces again and again.
Some in Congress wants to expand Operation Streamline, which pushes criminal penalties as a deterrence to illegal immigration. But during 2012, more than half of 6,500 cases reported in Arizona’s Yuma sector were not referred for prosecution. In more than 3,000 of those instances, the individual voluntarily returned home or was subject to expedited removal from the country. The records show: