Dec 12, 2011 8:00 PM
TUCSON-The nation's top immigration official was in Arizona Monday saying the number of border deaths and rescues are down.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin says, there's been a 41 % decrease in apprehensions the lowest in 17 years.
However, 1.2 million pounds of narcotics was seized last year, that's up 12% from last year. Also $13.3 million in undeclared currency.
Commissioner Bersin says, the numbers are down due to enforcement and the economy. However, drug seizures are still up. He says people known as "rip crews" continue to terrorize the drug smuggling corridors. "Yes we continue to see illegal activity but it's being challenged as never before."
Commissioner Bersin says "rip crews" are responsible for the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was shot nearly a year ago near Rio Rico in a corridor well known for illegal activity.
"We are taking back this corridor the progress is quite obvious and apparent. We are determined that Brian Terry will not have died in vain."
As for statements made by politicians from Washington to Arizona on how the border is not secure his response, "Talk to the men and women who live and work on the border then look at the data that is available today and draw your own conclusion."