|Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN -- December 30
Kitty Pilgrim (CNN): New developments tonight in the number of people trying to enter this country illegally. Now the border patrol says it caught fewer illegal aliens trying to cross into the United States in 2008, fewer than during any year in more than three decades. The Bush administration credits improved border security but others say it's actually because of the economy. Casey Wian reports.
Casey Wian, (CNN): The border patrol says it caught 723,825 people trying to enter the United States illegally in 2008. The agency says that's the fewest apprehensions since 1976. It's also less than half the 1.8 million caught during 2000, the busiest year ever for illegal alien apprehensions. The most widely used gauge of illegal crossings. Since then, the border patrol has more than doubled in size to 18,000 agents. Customs and Border Protection has built more than 500 miles of border fencing.
...Another concern the Department of Homeland Security will miss a congressional deadline for 670 miles of border fencing before the end of this year. The border patrol says 90 percent has been built and it believes the remainder will be complete by the end of January and then new fence construction will stop.