Immigration has been a hot subject since Arizona passed its new law requiring police to demand papers from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. To justify the law, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer told the public that immigration is fueling crime in Arizona. She said Phoenix is becoming the world's number-two kidnapping capital, that decapitated bodies are being found in the desert, that illegal immigrants are responsible for most police killings, and the majority of people crossing the border into the U.S. are drug mules. Brewer has also said 87 percent of people crossing the border illegally have prior criminal records. The problem (aside from the fact that her frightening discourse further discourages tourism) is that Brewer's statements have no basis in fact. Federal immigration authorities are unable to confirm her 87 percent statistic about people with prior criminal records, and her administration couldn't provide any reference for the number. The Arizona Guardian checked out Brewer's claim about decapitated bodies found in the desert and found no evidence of beheadings. Exhaustive research by the Arizona Republic of police and FBI crime statistics show that violence in Arizona is flat or even slightly lower than it has been in the last one, or even two decades.
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