Arizona Immigration Law: GOP Criticisms Disputed By Data Saying Crime, Border Crossings Have Dropped
WASHINGTON -- Illegal immigration has fallen precipitously and border enforcement is at an all-time high, but that's hard to tell from statements Republicans blasted out Monday after the Supreme Court struck down much of Arizona's immigration law.
The court upheld the right of local law enforcers to stop and question people's immigration status based on their appearance, but threw out three provisions of the law that made it a crime to be in the United States without documentation.
Many Republicans hammered the White House for fighting the now-unconstitutional law, saying it distracted from securing the border.But statistics on illegal immigration and border enforcement tell a different tale.
According to the most recent year-end reports from Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol apprehensions fell to 340,252 in 2011 -- a 53 percent drop since 2008, when nearly 724,000 border-crossers were nabbed.
At the same time, the number of border agents hit a high of 21,444, according to CBP. Most agents -- 18,500 -- now are on the Southwest border. There were about 10,000 agents total in 2004.