JULY 31, 2009
Violent crime has dropped substantially in a Mexican border state that has seen a recent exodus of illegal aliens thanks to increased immigration enforcement that includes the nation’s strictest employee verification laws.
Long an illegal immigrant metropolis that offers sanctuary, Phoenix has finally seen a significant dip in crime and, not surprisingly, it coincides with a huge drop in the area’s illegal alien population. The city’s police department reports a 25% decline in the number of crimes during the first five months of this year and a 12% decrease in violent crimes.
In the nearby Phoenix suburb of Mesa, police report a 19% decrease in crimes for the first half of 2009, including a 10% drop in violent crime and Tempe has benefitted from a 25% decrease in criminal activity. The three cities are located in Maricopa County, which has a sheriff’s department that has earned national attention for its enforcement of immigration laws.
The encouraging new crime statistics coincide with an equally large decrease—as much as one-third—in the area’s illegal immigrant population. Since 2007, the number of illegal aliens in Arizona has dropped by 191,000, from 579,000 to 388,000 this year.
This will undoubtedly save taxpayers a lot of money since states across the nation annually spend tens of millions of dollars to incarcerate illegal immigrants. Arizona spends abut $80 million a year to jail illegal aliens and that doesn’t include other costs such as public defenders and local law enforcement resources. California spends nearly $1 billion a year and Texas about $150 million.
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