“All the Arizona law tried to do was fill the void that the federal government has created by neglecting its duty and letting illegal immigration get completely out of control.”
— U.S. Sen. David Vitter, chairman of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus (um, OK), expressing dismay at Monday’s Supreme Court decision striking down most of Arizona’s immigration law

Fact: Federal data show that illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America is down sharply in the last few years due mainly to the weak U.S. economy and an attendant scarcity of low-wage, low-skill jobs — far from “completely out of control.”

Fact: Deportations of illegal immigrants are at an all-time high. In 2011, 397,000 illegal immigrants were deported, according to the Pew Research Center — 4,000 more than in 2010 and 7,000 more than 2009. In 2001, 117,000 illegal immigrants were deported.

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