Study: Fewer illegal immigrants living in Arizona

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PHOENIX -- Fewer illegal immigrants are calling Arizona home.

Fewer illegals?

Arizona's illegal immigrant population drops - The number of illegal immigrants living in Arizona has dropped by a third over the past two years.

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According to new report from the Center for immigration Studies, the population of illegal immigrants here in the Grand Canyon State has dropped by about one-third over the past two years.

Some attribute the drop to a combination of factors, including the foundering job market and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

The undocumented population was at its highest -- 530,000 -- in 2007. That number is now about 350,000.

The reported decrease has not been without ramifactions for the state and its economy. While some say it eases the drain on taxpayer-supported services, others believe both businesses and tax revenue are suffering.

And it's not just happening in Arizona. The CIS study also found that the population of illegal immigrants nationwide has fallen by almost 14 percent from its peak of about 12.5 million in 2007.

Not everybody agrees with the CIS findings.

The Pew Hispanic Center issued a contradictory report last week. That report is based on U.S. and Mexican population surveys, as well as Border Patrol apprehension numbers. It shows neither legal nor illegal immigrants are leaving the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.