June 7, 2010

Immigration Makes Our Cities Safer. Even in Arizona

Illegal trafficking in both people and narcotics is a problem plaguing the Arizona border. It's why the Obama administration pledged 1200 National Guard troops near the border. And supporters of SB 1070 would have you believe that it's a crime wave tied to scores of illegal immigrants. Not so fast.

Violent crime in Arizona, and other states that have a significant immigrant populations, has been consistently on the decline, especially recently. For example, after a spike in 2006 and 2007, the number of violent crimes reported in Phoenix dropped to 10,465 in 2008 and to 8,730 in 2009. That decrease even includes murder. In 2006 Phoenix had a murder rate of 234. That dropped to 167 in 2008 and 122 in 2009 despite the consistent uptick in violence across the border and more concentrated trafficking networks. But supporters of SB 1070 swear the illegal immigrant community is overwhelming local law enforcement resources. What can explain these numbers?

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