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Nogales, Arizona, Jun 18 (EFE).- The Arizona border is one of the main immigration corridors and the place where the success of measures taken by the U.S. government to halt the flow of migrants and enhance security is assessed.
The 626 kilometers (388 miles) of border shared by Arizona and Mexico has attracted national attention due to the increase in the crossings of undocumented immigrants there after security was strengthened in other states such as Texas and California.
At its peak, during fiscal year 2000, the Border Patrol reported 1.6 million arrests of undocumented migrants along the southwestern border, of whom 616,000 occurred within the Tucson Sector.
This increase in the immigration flow sparked a strong reaction by the federal government.
By devoting more money to security, the number of Border Patrol agents assigned to monitor the Arizona desert was significantly increased to 5,200 in 2012.
Authorities also began using advanced technology such as cameras, radar, motion detectors and drones to monitor the most isolated parts of the desert.
According to Border Patrol figures, arrests of undocumented immigrants have decreased by about 82 percent in this region since 2000.
Despite this significant decline, politicians who make the decision to approve immigration reform are putting conditions on regularizing the immigration status of the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States.
"The extremist politicians are using the issue of border security to make approval of a reform more difficult," Raquel Goldsmith, a professor in the University of Arizona's Mexican-American Studies Department, told Efe.
"The militarization of the border has transformed our frontier, especially here, in Arizona, (where) the border communities have been the most affected (and) have seen their daily life transform itself to make commercial agreements and daily living with (our) Mexican neighbors more difficult," Goldsmith said.