Advocates for illegal aliens have tried to portray Arizonans as ‘anti-immigrant’ or even ‘racist’ for adopting legislation aimed at discouraging the settlement of illegal aliens in the state. But new data from the state’s universities compiled by the Institute for International Education indicate that the negative portrayal is not only unfair but also that it apparently has not harmed the state’s reputation with international students. The foreign student enrollment in the state’s higher education system increased in the past year from 10,676 to 11,398 – a 7 percent jump.

That is not the only manifestation of the state’s hospitality towards foreigners. Recent data on refugee resettlement in the United States show that Arizona has the second highest rate of refugee placement per capita in the nation. That statistic should be understood in the context that the refugee placement program is the only immigration program that relies on the states to indicate the level of refugees that may be sent.

So, despite the state’s clear message of not wanting illegal aliens – which has been effective as we recently documented (See FAIR’s “Recent Demographic Change in Arizona”) – that policy is entirely distinct from the state’s openness to foreigners who come legally.