Federal officials say the number of so-called “drophouses” discovered harboring illegal immigrants in the Phoenix area has decreased significantly over the last four years.
They say the decrease is another indication that overall human smuggling activity in Arizona is declining.
The Arizona Republic reports just 490 illegal immigrants were discovered in 37 Phoenix area drophouses in the Phoenix area in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with 3,221 illegal immigrants found in 186 drophouses in the 2008 federal budget year that ended in September 2008.
Officials say the decrease in smuggling activity in Arizona is tied to an overall drop in illegal immigration because of the weak U.S. economy, tighter border security, stepped-up immigration enforcement, and tougher sentences imposed on smugglers.