Filed Under:  Arizona

New Report from FAIR Finds Illegal Aliens are Leaving Arizona in Response to State Immigration Enforcement Policies

February 5th 2012   ·   11 Comments

Arizona SB1070 Arizona has effectively reversed the flow of illegal immigration by instituting state policies designed to discourage illegal aliens from settling or remaining in the state. A new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR),

Recent Demographic Change in Arizona: Anatomy of Effective Immigration Reform Legislation, finds that after steep increases in Arizona’s illegal alien population in the 1990s and early 2000s, the number of illegal aliens in the state has declined dramatically since voters approved Proposition 200 in 2004. Since 2004, the state legislature has adopted additional enforcement measures, including the Arizona Legal Workers Act in 2007 and culminating in passage of SB 1070 in 2010. Along with the decline in the illegal alien population, Arizona realized significant savings in state costs, a drop in the number of families living in poverty, and a decline in the violent crime rate.

The data analyzed in Recent Demographic Change in Arizona provides strong evidence that illegal immigration is a highly controllable phenomenon. These conclusions are bolstered by more recent anecdotal evidence that illegal aliens are leaving other states which have followed Arizona’s lead and are implementing their own immigration enforcement policies. “While some political leaders have derided the concept of attrition through enforcement as ‘fantasy,’ Arizona provides hard evidence that illegal aliens are deterred by meaningful enforcement policies,” stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

Among the key findings of Recent Demographic Change in Arizona include:

  • Arizona’s illegal alien population declined by about 100,000 between 2008 and 2009, or about 18 percent. During that same time span, the rest of the country saw an 8 percent decline in the illegal alien population.
  • After a sharp increase in households with annual incomes below $35,000 between 2000 and 2005, the number of such households decreased 5.5 percent by 2009, even as the recession set-in.
  • 36,700 fewer Limited English Proficient students were enrolled in Arizona schools in 2010, compared with 2005 – a decline of 24.4 percent. As a result, the state saved about $97 million.
  • Arizona saw a 14.4 percent decline in violent crime and a 21.4 reduction in property crime between 2005 and 2010 – significantly greater reductions than the nation as a whole.

“It is ironic that the federal government, which has primary responsibility for enforcing U.S. immigration laws, is aggressively fighting to prevent Arizona and other states from protecting the interests of their citizens rather than emulating their successful policies,” Stein noted. “As the 2012 campaign heats up, candidates for federal and state office should embrace policies, like Arizona’s, which protect American jobs, reduce fiscal costs, and improve public safety. Voters all across the country support meaningful immigration enforcement policies by both federal and state government for good reason: They work.”

The full report, Recent Demographic Change in Arizona, is available at

About FAIRFounded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group.  With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests.  FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced. Visit FAIR’s website at

A version of this column originally appeared in

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. They ain’t leaving fast enough. Maybe once the supreme court says SB1070 can be fully used more will go away. Do not believe evrything FAIR says either.

  2. The problem you have in Tucson is they are not enforcing the laws on the books. Many leaders there would rather have Tucson as sanctuary city. So we need to keep the local politicians feet to the fire if we want change.

  3. If you turn them over to the Obama Government, they just let them go again and do nothing.

  4. Dave Lawson says:

    …’cause he considers them his “constituents”, not criminals, come to think of it not always any difference.

  5. They are fleeing Alabama, too .. glad we’re not next door to Az as well … big influx in Mississippi … hopefully just passsing through.

  6. John Kinge says:

    Now if we could just get them to leave the other border states as well. This vindicates Governor Jan Brewer’s stand on illigals.

  7. Art Davis says:

    Ooh rah! for Arizona. The only state around that has the Cohonies to do something…

  8. Art Davis says:

    Ooh rah! for Arizona. The only state around that has the Cohonies to do something…

  9. Dave Francis says:


    It’s my hope that Mitt Romney sticks to his guns, should he gain acceptance by the voters for president? Any time before the presidential election, whether Gubernatorial, State, County or local election, without revising of federal election laws every citizen-voter must be committed to fighting voter fraud. Do not believe that voter fraud is not proliferating across the country, as Democratic appointed ACORN has shown otherwise? The Left will do anything to implode any of the Republican chances of winning the presidency, including the backing of illegal registrations of non citizens voting. Be alarmed, because there is every possibility of forged absentee ballots or even non-citizens filling in registrations. All candidates whether Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul need to be aware of the vicious other side who don’t play fair? Mitt Romney has one of NumbersUSA strongest grades for his immigration record, so any candidate must be held accountable for their promises to the American people.

    Neither political party is exempt from the massive illegal immigration problem, which has magnified over time? Every promise to enforce our immigration laws has been undone, beginning with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). It was enacted to fail, because it would be detrimental to incorrigible businesses for low-priced labor and the Democrats hoped to overpower the GOP will votes—LEGAL AND ILLEGAL. It has been foolhardy to trust the majority of those in power in Congress. It is only since the positive manifestation of the American People’s Party, known only too well as THE TEA PARTY, that the legal residents of this nation have found trust. Since the inception of the TEA PARTY, the old “Quid Pro Quo” is starting to fade and leave office. They no longer can command the underhand laws they have passed, as the majority of the people want immigration laws enforced and not determined by selling favors to special interest lobbyists, for special bills to be passed? It’s inevitable a few TEA PARTY leaders will fall beside the wayside, as corruption has its abundance in Washington; they will be watched and not reelected.

    Washington’s DC rotting pattern has been there even before the 1986 law, supposedly to heavily sanction with fines and incarceration of businesses who hire illegal workers. Nothing happened and nothing would, that’s why millions were encouraged to cross borders or catch the next international flight, with unlawful intentions? It’s even absurd that the Congress never made it a Felony to enter America without permission? Why bother to even respect these countries laws, when entrance is only punishable in a civil court? Two federal mandatory laws that can make an unparalleled difference who gets to stay here, or gets deported. The E-Verify program that thousands of reputable businesses are now using, will remove illegal aliens from the workplace, under the current title of “The Legal Workforce Act”.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s E-Verify is the positive aspect of ATTRITION THROUGH ENFORCEMENT as it simple and costs hardly anything to implement. It is self-evident that if they cannot get a job, they have no choice but to leave, opening more jobs for low income, but even up to higher paying occupations. Second law that is just as demanding is an Amendment to the 14th Amendment, stopping the travesty of foreign babies recognized as citizens, even when no parents has legal status. Directly correlated to the number of immigrants pouring into this nation, is our school system that is breaking down in communities where the English language is seldom the first tongue, anymore.

    Lamar Smith has stated, “Throughout the three years of his administration, Obama has waived applying several of our immigration rules and has refused to enforce other immigration laws,” Only last week in an interview with UnivisionT.V., Obama said he can’t just “wave away the laws that Congress put in place.” But according to Smith he is doing exactly that. In the E-Magazine roll call, Smith said, “Obama administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security outlined their plan to ignore a rule that requires illegal immigrants to leave the United States before they can ask the federal government to waive a law that bans them from legally returning here for several years,” Work-site ICE inspections have virtually dropped-off, but Obama and his officials have victimized states unable to financially support federal court unfunded mandates. As with other developed countries I see nothing wrong with recruiting the highest needed skills and occupations; the specialized employment of engineers, scientists and the cream of immigrants who should be welcome here. However—we should draw the line at importing more poverty as taxpayers will be obligated by law to feed, and support them with citizen entitlements.

    Hundreds of thousands of illegal parents annually use this flaw in the 14th amendment, to seduce the welfare benefit programs that the whole family can use? The Democrats state that illegal parents cannot apply for food stamps, Wicca and other so called solid laws only applicable to citizens or some legal residents; a complete travesty, as parent can apply in the name of the citizen child or children and accumulate food stamps, section 8 housing and other entitlement programs. This in itself is a billion dollar fraudulent industry, that taxpayers are coerced to pay? It’s not that we are attracting poverty across the border, but foreigners with heinous criminal records of assault, homicide, child molester, drunk drivers and whole litany of individuals, ready to steal, hijack, invade a home or even kidnap; heavily profuse in Frontier states as Arizona.

    Do the enforcement promises run through legislator’s hands like so much tepid water from either Democrats or Republicans? That before any further concentration on passing some new immigration reform policies, that those meandering around in central government will fulfill the will of the people to build the 2006 Double parallel fence across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas? The illegal alien issue is not just bad, it is worse than anybody can imagine? It’s costing over a hundred billion dollars a year in unfunded mandated for ever one of the 50 states. It’s costing the central government billions of dollars appointed by the courts, to supplement every illegal alien living conditions with taxpayer coerced money? The federal government has deliberately failed to contain this human pestilence, then when Arizona rises up against the negligence, flowed by Alabama, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina the egomaniac as Eric Holder in charge of the notorious Justice Department sues?

    No wonder the Congress has the lowest grade for its reputation? None of the Senate and House can be trusted, with President Obama spending trillions of dollars, bailing out giant banking institutions in America as well as foreign countries. Not discarded yet is the Obama Care health law, passed behind closed doors and could cause further irreparable damage to our ailing economy. $15 trillion dollars and counting, is there any way out of this financial mess? Are taxpayers once again, paying out for people who wouldn’t work if they could, or people who have skipped borders to benefit from American taxes? Is yet another financially crippling unfunded mandate to reward illegal alien invaders? Then Obama is now using executive decisions over the heads of congress to pardon illegal aliens, should they not committed a crime. Even walking away from Justice and felony’s that they must have committed to get work, using stolen Social Security numbers and other documents? It is ultimately wrong to give a free pass to persons, who violated the laws, when thousands have patiently waited in foreign lands for their chance of a work visa?

  10. Great…I hope they dont come to Illinios…we have enough of them already!

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