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Immigrant population in Arizona increases to nearly 1 million in 2016

Alma Lopez holds her son Javier's and husband Javier Flores Garcia's hands during a news conference outside of the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Javier Flores Garcia, who has been living in the church for nearly a year to avoid deportation to Mexico, has walked free Wednesday. In 2004, he was stabbed and worked with the government to capture the men responsible. His actions made him eligible for a special type of visa for people who help police. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHOENIX — There’s one state that a large number of immigrants like to call home: Arizona.

Arizona was among the states with the largest increase in immigrants — both legal and illegal — between 2010 and 2016, according to the non-profit organization Center for Immigration Studies.

The number of immigrants increased by more than 78,000 over that six-year period, jumping from 856,663 in 2010 to 934,883 in 2016.

This put Arizona among the top 15 states in the nation for immigrant growth, joining the likes of states that included Texas, Florida, California, New York and New Jersey.

The trend in Arizona represents the same pattern nationwide: The national immigrant population increased by 3.8 million from 2010 to 43.7 million in 2016, making up more than 13 percent of the entire population.

A majority of those immigrants came from Mexico, with 1.1 million new immigrants arriving from the country between 2010 and 2016.

But due to return migration and natural mortality, the overall Mexican-born population has not increased in that same time period.

However, the numbers for Arizona may not be accurate in 2017.

More than 5,000 illegal immigrants were removed from Arizona in the first three months of 2017 alone, according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In an email, ICE said 5,283 people had been removed as of March 31. Of those, 1,780 were removed from the state in January, followed by 1,613 in February and 1,890 in March.

The figures include immigrants who were forcibly deported, those who voluntarily deported and those removed from the country by Border Patrol.

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