Immigrant traffic slowing in NM, western Texas

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - The number of illegal immigrants caught crossing the Mexican border in New Mexico and far West Texas has declined to its lowest level since 1967.

Officials with the El Paso Border Patrol sector say the number of apprehensions dropped to 10,345 in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30. That's a 15% drop from the 2010 total of 12,251.

The volume in the El Paso sector has fallen steadily since 2006 and is a fraction of the 312,000 persons detained in 1992, the busiest year on record for the sector.

Authorities say the number of apprehensions is dropping because fewer people are trying to cross the border illegally.