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Report: 3 Out Of 4 Found With Drugs By Border Patrol Are U.S. Citizens

The Center for Investigative Reporting has a report today that shatters some preconceived notions: A review of records from the Border Patrol, shows that three out of four people the patrol found carrying drugs were United States citizens.

CIR reports this finding goes against the many press releases issued by the agency highlighting Mexican drug smugglers.

The organization reports:

"Looked at another way, when the immigration status is known, 4 out of 5 busts – which may include multiple people – involve a U.S. citizen.

"In a written response, Customs and Border Protection said the agency issues news releases to highlight significant or 'otherwise noteworthy seizures.' The most commonly highlighted busts involve large amounts of narcotics, unusual trafficking or concealment methods, or other notable factors, according to the agency.

"Alonzo Peña, who retired in 2010 as deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said illegal immigrants have been increasingly portrayed as a 'boogeyman' problem to the United States."

The full report is on CIR's website.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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