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Arizona drops as destination for unauthorized Mexican immigrants

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The number of unauthorized immigrants crossing into Arizona from Mexico has continued to drop, research showed.

The Pew Research Center said Arizona was one of 14 states where the population decreased from 2009 to 2012.

According to federal government data, about 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in 2012. In that year, 350,000 were estimated to be in Arizona.

Overall, the center found that more Mexicans were leaving America than coming in. That flips a 50-year course.

More than 16 million Mexicans moved to the United States from 1965 to 2015, more than from any other country.

The era of mass migration from Mexico is “at an end,” declared Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research.

Other states that have seen a drop in numbers are Alabama, California, Colorado and Nevada.

The study also found that about 11 percent of Arizona schoolchildren have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent.

The study came out a day before President Barack Obama planned to ask the Supreme Court to save his immigration plan.

Obama’s plan would keep millions of immigrants living in America illegally from being deported. The plan would also enable 5 million to obtain work permits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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