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Illegal immigration down - because of economy or border control?

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“At a time when enforcement was beginning to pay dividends, the Obama administration has curtailed many aspects of enforcement – particularly in the workplace,” says Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The report is excellent evidence that illegal immigration is controllable, says Mr. Mehlman. “In addition, the administration and congressional leaders have promoted the idea that an amnesty might be forthcoming. At a time when many illegal aliens might be contemplating returning home, the talk of amnesty is giving them a reason to remain."

Immigrant support groups, on the other hand, worry the new data will help stymie immigration reform.

“Now that the decrease statistics are out, ICE [Homeland Security's immigration enforcement agency], Republicans, and Democrats can take credit for their tough stance on immigration," says Randy Ertll, executive director of El Centro de Accion Social in Pasadena, Calif. "Future congressional candidates will use this as an example that their leadership in controlling immigration is working. However, we know that the current immigration laws are outdated and need to be revised/reformed.”

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