Border Patrol apprehensions on the rise

While Washington discusses how to help undocumented workers gain legal status, the U.S. Border Patrol is reporting the numbers of apprehensions is growing both nationally and locally.

Nationwide the U.S. Border Patrol made more than 356,000 apprehensions along the Mexican border in the 2012 fiscal year, the first increase in seven years.

The Rio Grande Valley sector saw a 60 percent increase in the first nine months of the 2012 fiscal year.

Special Operations Supervisor Henry Mendiola says it TMs hard to pin point why.

"This is the result of a lot of things, more mature work force, community involvement and cooperation among law enforcement agencies in the RGV, Mendiola said.

While a 60 percent increase may seem like a lot, nearly 80,000 arrests is still well below the quarter of a million arrests the sector made in 1997.

While in years past about two thirds of the people Border Patrol apprehends come from Mexico, this past year, more than half of those arrests are other than Mexican.

"We continue to see big groups from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Mendiola said.

Thanks to the public's help the agency has seen a large increase in detainees they find in stash houses.

"There is a lot more information sharing and on top of that we have more cooperation from the communities, that is something we have started to see results from, Mendiola said.

And while the future of immigration may be uncertain, Mendiola says the agency will continue to work smarter and more efficiently to get results.

If you see any suspicious activity you are encouraged to call the border patrol office at 1-800-863-9382.