As illegal immigration rates go down and the National Guard's deployment costs rack up, the Obama administration prepares to cut the Guard's presence along the US-Mexico border.
It's a classic chicken-or-the-egg question. Has the presence of the National Guard contributed to historic lows of illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the US from Mexico? Or do the historic lows mean that billions spent on enforcement is a waste of money?
Today the Monitor looked at how the arrests of immigrants along the border are at their lowest level since 1972, according to US immigration officials. The numbers of those arrested in fiscal year 2011, which ended on Sept. 30, stood at 327,577, compared to 1.6 million back in 2000. This comes after the National Guard was deployed to the border, first under former President George W. Bush, and continued under President Obama.