Here’s a homemade graphic ranking Border Patrol’s nine sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to 13 measures. Some takeaways:
- Heroin and meth trafficking are west coast phenomena. Cocaine flows down both coasts, while marijuana flows favor south Texas and Arizona.
- Most migrants, especially Central American kids and families, come to south Texas or Arizona.
- The Rio Grande Valley sector, along the Gulf of Mexico, is first in many measures–but still second in number of Border Patrol agents. (A pretty distant second, too: 3,834 agents to 3,135.)
- The correlation is weak between miles of fencing and crossings of migrants and drugs. (Heavily fenced California has fewer migrants but lots of drugs that cross through ports of entry. Arizona is heavily fenced but crossings continue in wilderness areas. West Texas has little fencing and little activity because it is so remote.)