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National Guard presence cutting number of illegal US-Mexico border crossings

[JURIST] The number of illegal Mexican migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border in Arizona has dropped significantly due to US National Guard [official website] troops working to extend border fences and repair roads in the area, according to reports by US officials Monday. The US Border Patrol [official website] said that detentions have fallen 23 percent along the Arizona border, and authorities said along the entire US-Mexico border detentions are down 21 percent over the first ten days in June when compared to this time last year. Currently, 55 soldiers are at the Arizona border as part of President Bush's plan to hinder illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] in the US by ultimately sending 6,000 troops to the border [JURIST report].

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano [official website] said that 2,500 troops are scheduled to join the soldiers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Despite the troops not being able to actually detain illegal migrants, their presence has been a deterrent to migrant crossers, according to migrant rights activists. The Mexican government has said it will continue to watch the troops to ensure they are not arresting illegal crossers. AP has more.

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