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The human cost of immigration enforcement

Published: Sep 4, 2012 8:30 am By: Michael Matza

"About four million U.S.-citizen children have at least one undocumented parent, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization in Washington. And that number is headed up.

Since 2005, illegal crossings of the nation's southern border have plummeted 80 percent because of tough enforcement and the recession. But the proportion of adults who cross, get deported, and try to cross again is growing.

In the first decade of the 21st century, about 8 percent of all deportees, not just Mexicans, had U.S.-citizen children, according to an analysis of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data by the Applied Research Center, a New York think tank.

But in the first half of 2011, 22 percent of all deportees had U.S.-citizen children."

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