Drop in Crime Coincides With Exodus of Illegal Immigrants

Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal, July 27, 2009

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Phoenix has seen a 25 percent decline in the number of crimes during the first five months of 2009 compared to the same time period in 2007 when the economy began to slow. Violent crime in Phoenix is down 12 percent, according crime statistics from the Phoenix Police Department.

The Mesa Police Department reports a 19 percent decrease in total crimes for the first half of 2009 versus the first half of 2007, including a 10 percent drop in violent crime. Tempe has seen a 25 percent total drop.

At the same time, the state’s illegal immigrant population has decreased by as much as one-third thanks to the down U.S. economy, tougher enforcement polices by the federal government and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the state’s employer sanctions law which goes after businesses who hire undocumented workers, said Steven Camarota, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

CIS estimates Arizona’s illegal immigrant population has gone from 579,000 in 2007 to 388,000 this year–191,000-person drop.

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CIS estimates the U.S. illegal immigrant population has dropped from 12.5 million in 2007 to 10.8 million now.

Tempe total crimes

Jan.-June 2007: 6,532

Jan.-June 2009: 4,955

Phoenix total crimes

Jan.-May 2007: 50,898

Jan.-May 2009: 38,257

Phoenix violent crimes:

Jan.-May 2007: 4,706

Jan.-May 2009: 4,153

Mesa total crimes

Jan.-June 2007: 11,016

Jan.-June 2009: 8,910

Mesa violent crimes

Jan.-June 2007: 1,091

Jan.-June 2009: 981

Source: Police departments

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