Federal Prosecutions Reach Record High in 2009 'Cause of Arizona's Tough Stance on Illegals

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Department of Justice data is in, and federal prosecutions reached a record high in fiscal year 2009, and Arizona deserves much of the, uh, credit.

In 2009, there were 169,612 federal prosecutions -- more than half of them cases against illegal immigrants, according to new report from Syracuse University. Check out the report here.

Arizona processed more than 22,000 immigration cases, which is more than 25 percent of the total number of such cases processed in the entire country, the report says.

There were about 45 percent more federal prosecutions in 2009 than there were five years ago, and the report credits the increase to the George W. Bush Administration's aggressive stance on immigration, despite the fact that Barack Obama was in office for nine months of the fiscal year.

The report suggests Obama has been too bogged down with the financial crisis to focus on immigration enforcement, which has allowed for folks like Maricopa County's own top cop to run amok.

Another alarming statistic regarding immigration in the report is the amount of time it takes an immigration case to weave its way through the legal system, compared to other "white-collar" crimes.

Immigration cases are typically whisked through the courts in about two days, according to the report, while white-collar crimes take an average of 436 days to get settled.

With immigration cases, "We're simply pushing the cattle through the chutes," University of Houston Law Center immigration expert Michael Olivas tells the New York Times.  

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