Sunday, May 02, 2010

Border States Deal With More Illegal Immigrant Crime Than Most, Data Suggests

Arizona lawmakers say their new immigration enforcement law will help them fight an illegal immigrant crime wave that is sweeping the state, a claim that is backed by studies and statistics that suggest border states have a disproportionately high number of criminals who are illegal immigrants. "We've been inundated with criminal activity. It's just -- it's been outrageous," Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told Fox News. "Crime is off the chart in this state," added Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, president of the Arizona Association of Sheriffs. While the correlation between illegal immigrants and crime is almost impossible to quantify precisely, the available numbers indicate that Arizona -- as well as California and Texas -- are dealing with increased crime as a result of high illegal immigrant populations and activity. In 2004, the year when the data was most recently available, 12.4 percent of California prisoners were illegal immigrants, as compared with an estimated 6.9 percent of the state population. In Arizona, 11.1 percent of the prison population was undocumented, compared with 7 percent of the overall state population. In Texas, the percentage was also slightly higher in the prisons than it was statewide. A Government Accountability Office study from 2005 also found that most illegal immigrant arrests were happening in California, Texas and Arizona. The study sampled a prison population of more than 55,000 illegal immigrants, and found that 80 percent of all the arrests were in those three states...more

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