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Arizona helped deport thousands without new law

• AP
Without the benefit of their state's strict new immigration law, officers from a single Arizona county helped deport more than 26,000 illegal immigrants from the U.S. through a federal-local partnership program that has been roundly criticized as fraught with problems.

Statistics obtained by The Associated Press show that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was responsible for deportations or forced departure of 26,146 immigrants since 2007.

That's about a quarter of the national total of 115,841 sent out of the U.S. by officers in 64 law enforcement agencies deputized to help enforce immigration laws, some since 2006, under the so-called 287(g) program.

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