The poor American economy is making crossing the Mexican border less attractive to workers. Better enforcement by the Border Patrol is making it harder to cross. The cost of smuggling has gone way up.
These factors are resulting in fewer border crossings. In 2009, about 540,000 people were caught crossing the border; in 2010, the number went down to 448,000; in 2011, crossing are down to 327,000, so far.
Many more illegal immigrants have been in the United States a long time. In 2000, sixteen percent of the illegal immigrants had been here 15 years or longer. In 2011, thirty-five percent of the illegal immigrants have been here for more than 15 years.
Violence in cities along the Texas border has been reduced. The drug cartels are weaker because they are battling one another. Police and military units are more effective.