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Huffington Post: Arizona Violent Crime Down, Except Under Sheriff Who Targets Immigrants (CHART)

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The Huffinton Post’s Sam Stein reports on our latest research into the potential effects of Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law, SB 1070, in “Arizona Violent Crime Down, Except Under Tough Anti-Immigration Sheriff:”

A chart circulated by a leading immigration reform organization makes a basic, but compelling case that the new law passed — though not implemented — in Arizona could cause an increase rather than a drop in crime. […] The non-profit group America’s Voice sent out a chart on Wednesday, documenting the change in violent crime levels in various Arizona police jurisdictions from 2002 through 2009. The numbers tell two interesting stories.

The implications of the new chart?

The first is that, by and large, crime is down across the board. In Arizona as a whole, it has dropped 12 percent in the past seven years. But in major Maricopa County cities with their own police forces — Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe — the rate has dropped even faster. (The group measured within Maricopa County because it is the epicenter of the immigration debate. But in Tuscon, which is not in the county, there has also been a drop in the crime rate since 2002, according to law enforcement statistics).

Here’s the visual:

Stein concludes:

“…the group’s underlying point is that the discussion around immigration policy both in Arizona and the United States at large needs to be reoriented. And the raw percentages of violent crime statistics shown in the chart have that effect.”