A remark attributed to me in the front-page article `` `Gatekeepers' Stanch the Flow of Illegals Across US Border,'' Dec. 14, may be misunderstood in the context in which it appears.
It is correct that I warned that more effective border control in one area, like that in San Diego, may be eroded if illegal immigrants are being diverted to neighboring areas, such as Arizona and New Mexico. I did not, however, intend to detract from the Border Patrol's achievements in San Diego.
The overall level of apprehensions along the southwest border has been decreasing for the past couple of years, as a result of El Paso's ``Operation Hold the Line'' and increases in Border Patrol personnel and equipment.
My observation that the data show some increases in apprehensions of illegal immigrants in Arizona and New Mexico was intended to point out the need for a comprehensive, rather than piecemeal, approach to controlling our borders.
If the US government is sincere in its desire to reduce illegal immigration, blocking illegal entry at one or two crossing points will not suffice.
However, these latest efforts in El Paso and San Diego clearly demonstrate that, with adequate resources and an effective strategy, we do have the capability to stanch significantly the flow of illegal immigrants across the Southwest border. Rosemary Jenks, Washington Senior analyst Center for Immigration Studies