More than half of deported immigrants planned to cross illegally into the United States again, a new study by the University Arizona of migration and deportation practices found.

And one of the reasons might be strong family ties in the United States, the researchers say.

“People have established lives in this country and will do just about anything possible to be reunited with their family members in the United States,” said Daniel Martinez, one of the study’s main investigators and an assistant professor of sociology at George Washington University.

The preliminary findings of the study were presented today during a news conference at the UA.

A bi-national team of researchers interviewed more than 1,100 deportees between 2010 and 2012 in six Mexican cities along the border — including Nogales, as well as Mexico City.

The authors of the study hope the findings can help shape the current immigration reform debate.

“We need to think outside the box when it comes to immigration reform,” Martinez said through a video conference from Washington. “We need to look at the root causes of immigration to really understand.”

Read more in tomorrow’s Star

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.