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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona remains among the top three states in the nation for immigration-related prosecutions despite a drop in such prosecutions in the state.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that half of all criminal defendants and 97 percent of petty-offense defendants in the state's federal courts are prosecuted for immigration violations.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona declined to comment on how it decides to prosecute people for immigration offenses or what type of oversight exists.

A study by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research center at Syracuse University, found that during fiscal year 2013, immigration prosecutions reached an all-time high nationwide, with new cases being filed against more than 97,000 defendants.

The center found the number of new cases has grown more than 300 percent in 10 years.

Associated Press,

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