Barrier Leads to Apparent Decline in El Paso Property Crimes

There was a time when residents of El Paso, Texas, felt unsafe. Property crime plagued the city.  Thousands of times a year illegal aliens would steal cars and drive them back across the southern border before law enforcement had the time to react. Virtually any property of any size left outside the home was fair game for illegal border crossers.

“They couldn’t leave stuff out like lawn chairs or garden hoses or anything of any value because it would be carted into Mexico,” said Silvestre Reyes, a former Democratic congressman and Border Patrol chief.

Things changed when a border fence was built in 2008, and the situation began to improve. After reviewing El Paso Police Department (EPPD) crime data, KFOX14 reported that the city saw auto thefts decline from more than 2,700 in 2008 to about 1,900 in 2009. By 2017, that number had fallen to only 800.

In addition to auto thefts, the local Fox affiliate stated that other crimes were down as well.

  • Burglary cases decreased from about 2,100 in 2008 to just 1,300 in 2017.
  • Theft cases also dwindled from about 14,900 to 10,400 in the same time period.
  • And this is despite the population of El Paso increasing by 70,000 in those years.

Property crimes had already decreased from the early 1990s after more Border Patrol agents were deployed in Operation Hold the Line. However, a fence provided the extra border security essential to protecting the city’s residents. Who knew a wall could halt most attempts to drive stolen cars back to Mexico?

In addition, these declining crime statistics appear to prove the same point made in a new study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The research showed that illegal aliens were 60 percent more likely to commit crimes in Texas than legal residents. Considering auto thefts immediately fell as soon as the fence was constructed, illegal aliens were probably committing more than their fair share of the crimes.

And if a barrier has the potential to reduce crime in El Paso, it can probably produce the same results in other localities. Congress has no plausible excuse to ignore that walls work at this point. It’s time to secure our southern border and protect the American people.

About Author


Casey joined FAIR in 2018. He assists the research team with projects and writes for FAIR’S website. He previously spent a year working in journalism in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Journalism in 2017.


    • avatar

      Even assuming that’s true, it’s not because we do not have nearly the same high crime rates as Mexico, are you arguing that that is a reason to let them come in illegally? You seem to be saying, no actually you are saying, that is no reason to keep them out. We have criminals here so no problem if we let in foreign criminals?

  1. avatar

    Any idiot knows that a wall is inpasadable if you can’t get through….you can’t get to the other side. Congress is filled with idiots and it’s by design. We have enough bullls – – t to deal with now and don’t need anymore.

  2. avatar

    I lived in El Paso for ten years…I had wrought iron bars on my windows…someone stole my hose in the front yard… An illegal creamed my little Chevette could have been killed, yes I would have supported a wall…I sure use to hate when they would jump out at me from boxcars when I was trying to seal them….I moved as far away as I could, all the way to Ottawa Canada…..

  3. avatar

    Good fences make good neighbors. Even a simpleton can understand that, but it’s beyond the grasp of the typical Democrat.

    • avatar

      Funny. Even as kids, my neighbors and I would regularly climb over the fences separating our backyards.

      Apparently I was smarter as an 8 year old than you are now.

      • avatar

        Apparently not since if you did that it was with the cooperation of both families. Nor is some low wooden fence remotely the same as a 20 foot steel slat fence. You just don’t want any fences or anything that will stop people crossing illegally. If you disagree, then state what you actually support that would do that. Just a guess, drones?