Desert Invasion - U.S.

Border Patrol to limit access to data

By Staff writers, Arizona Daily Star

The U.S. Border Patrol will no longer release up-to-date numbers of apprehensions, drug seizures and border deaths on request, said agency officials.

The directive was issued by Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar, said Gustavo Soto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman.

The decision was made for convenience reasons and so that the totals don't overshadow the news of individual drug seizures and apprehensions, said Soto.

Border Patrol Spokesman Mario Martinez in Washington D.C. said the agency will only release numbers month-by-month. The policy change is due to an overwhelming number of media requests for numbers, he said.

Unlike past years when only the border states covered the issue, media outlets across the nation are covering immigration, he said....

The decision reverses a long-standing practice of releasing the figures to the public and the media up to the day of the request.

Martinez denied that the agency is keeping information from the public.

"We are not denying you the data," Martinez said. "Just how frequently you're able to get the data."

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