The U.S. Border Patrol is shipping apprehended illegal immigrants to other states before deporting them back to Mexico in an effort to deter repeat offenses, the Arizona Republic reports.
Border Patrol officials in Arizona are sending illegal immigrants in custody to California and Texas before deporting them, according to the newspaper. They say that the tactic prevents those individuals from reconnecting with the smugglers who brought them to the United States in the first place.
"What that does is break up that smuggling cycle so that they are not going to keep coming through kind of a revolving door," Colleen Agle, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, which covers most of Arizona's border with Mexico, told the Republic.
The Border Patrol in Arizona transferred nearly 44,000 illegal immigrants to other states between Oct. 30, 2010, and July 30, 2011. The patrol found the number of people caught trying to re-enter the country has dropped significantly, down to 27 percent in 2011 from 33 percent in 2010, the Republic reports.
Immigration advocates, however, say the busing practice is dangerous for immigrants because they could be separated from their families or lack the resources to return to their homes from a different point of origin.
California is currently the only other state that transfers its deportees, according to the Republic, sending some of them to Arizona.