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The U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than it has been in years, resulting in less violence and illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

U.S. border communities are not “out of control or overrun with violence,” she said today in a speech at the University of Texas at El Paso. “Illegal immigration is decreasing. Deportations are increasing. Crime rates are dropping.”

The Obama administration has been stymied by congressional Republicans and some Democrats in its efforts to propose immigration legislation to allow temporary foreign workers. Opponents say the administration should do more to stop illegal immigration before Congress considers letting more people into the country to work.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 779,000 illegal immigrants from the U.S. in the past two years, more “than ever before,” Napolitano said. More than half of the 195,000 people deported last year were convicted criminals, a 70 percent increase from the Bush administration, she said.

Source: Jeff Bliss for Bloomberg.com.

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