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April 30th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Crime stats test rationale behind Arizona immigration law

Mariano Castillo
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/13/king.sou.border/art.borderfence.cnn.jpg caption="CNN Fact Check: Kidnapping is up in Phoenix, but murderers' status can't be proven" width=300 height=169]

High levels of illegal immigration and crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants are among the key rationales cited by some supporters of a tough new immigration law in Arizona.

"Border violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state," Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said at the signing of the controversial bill, SB 1070. "There is no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of the drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life."

Yet, a look at statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and the FBI indicate that both the number of illegal crossers and violent crime in general have actually decreased in the past several years.

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