Tanya Golash-Boza of the University of California, Merced has written about the shift of immigration enforcement from the border to the interior of the United States.

She writes:

In Fiscal Year 2011, immigration law enforcement agents apprehended over half a million non-citizens. For the first time, ICE apprehended nearly half of them: just over 300,000. The decrease in Border Patrol apprehensions is due to the fact that fewer people are crossing the border illegally. Deportations have continued to rise because ICE has enhanced its efforts in the interior of the United States. This has happened in two ways: 1) funding for programs targeting criminal aliens has skyrocketed; and 2) increases in Police/ICE cooperation. ICE can’t do this alone. There are only 20,000 ICE agents nationwide, with only 5,000 actively employed in enforcement and removal operations. To achieve 400,000 deportations, ICE has to rely on Border Patrol apprehensions and police arrests. As Border Patrol apprehensions decrease, ICE increasingly relies on local law enforcement.

She explains that the definition of "criminal deportees" includes individuals deported after being convicted for minor crimes, 23% of which stem from traffic offenses (speeding and driving while brown), and 20% for immigration related crimes (illegal entry and re-entry).

Click here to read the entire article.

You can follow Professor Golash-Boza on Twitter at @TanyaBoza