More on Immigration and Crime

Following up on my story about El Paso's large immigrant population and low rate of violent crime, the Immigration Policy Center points to a study I missed by the America's Majority Foundation. The study looks at overall social indicators in states with high immigration rates versus the rest of the country during the immigration boom between 1999-2006. On the subject of crime, the study finds....

• While the overall crime rate in the U.S. dropped 10.9 percent, the crime rate in the 19 states that saw the largest influx of immigrants dropped 13.6 percent.

• In 1999, the 19 states that would settle the largest number of immigrants over the next seven years had a crime rate higher than the national average. By 2006, their crime rate was lower.

• Violent crime in the 19 high-immigration states dropped 15.0 percent over seven-year period. Violent crime in the other 32 states (the study included D.C.) dropped just 1.2 percent.

The authors are careful to explain that lots of variables contribute to a state's crime rate, and they warn that one should not conclude from their study alone that immigration reduces crime. But it does present a pretty strong refutation of the argument that immigrants are creating more crime in the states where they settle.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy also kindly mentioned my article today, and added an interesting statistic of his own: "Illegal immigrants generated an extra $17.7 billion in the Texas economy when the state comptroller checked in 2006. That was after subtracting the cost of emergency healthcare and their American-born children’s education."

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  • ||

    Sorry but none of those statistics are particularly impressive. The first two cancel each other out in some ways. It makes sense that states that started with higher crime rates would have a larger percentege decrease in crime than low crime states when the national crime rate falls. It is easier to get a large decrease when you start out high. The last one almost proves too much. Perhaps inviting high numbers of low skilled Latin American immigrants is the way to lower your crime rate. Or maybe, states that improved their law enforcement and government efficiencies have better economies and thus attract more immigrants over the time period discussed.

  • ||

    TO ALL YOU LOSERS< Who blame the poor Undocumented migrants, What have you done SPECIFICALLY FOR US CITIZENS? Besides blame your lousy unsuccessful life and misery on the poor that come to work our fields grow our food, mow our lawn, clean our homes and offices? Have you done nay of these?

    The poor migrants did not bring calamity on our Economy, its WALL STREET AND MORONS LIKE YOU WHO BELIEVED THEM. How many Undocumented Immigrants worked for FORD, GM, CHRYSLER, THE BANKS, WALL STREET, WHIRLPOOL, MAYTAG, IBM, DELL, Etc Etc... NOT ONE. GET IT??

    Now go to the mirror and SLAP HARD the person you see in the mirror for your FAILURES.
    If you truly want to succeed get Dr Napoleon Hills book, Think & Grow Rich, and Dr Joseph Murphy Book, Think Yourself to Health Wealth & Happiness.GOOD LUCK

  • the innominate one||

    shut the fuck up, lonewacko

    (I'm applying the Bush doctrine of preemptive strikes.)

  • ||

    Illegal alien men make up just 2% of the overall population but account for 29% of federal prisoners. In other words, they are 15 times more likely to commit crimes than citizens.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    How many Undocumented Immigrants worked for FORD, GM, CHRYSLER, THE BANKS, WALL STREET, WHIRLPOOL, MAYTAG, IBM, DELL, Etc Etc... NOT ONE.

    Really? How many clean the offices of these companies after everyone goes home? These companies get around it because they subcontract the janitorial services to a business that does employ illegal immigrants. These undocumented workers have created a stagnation in the wages of the fields they work in. But I, sure as shit, don't blame the workers themselves. I blame the government for not offering a path to legal status. Once legal, these workers would not have as much of an unfair advantage over other workers.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    Nor would the businesses that employ them, have an unfair advantage over businesses that do not employ them.

  • hmm||

    Hotels hire illegals for a reason. You show up on time, don't fuck up, don't steal, and generally don't cause problems when the punishment is deportation.

    Some of that is good and some is bad.

  • ||

    The government now admits that 9 million illegal aliens are committing identity fraud, with stolen SSNs, to work at jobs requiring an I-9, W-4, etc. They purchase fraudulent documents such as counterfeit Social Security cards, forged drivers licenses, fake "green cards," and phony birth certificates.

    Most of the stolen SSNs have already been assigned to citizens and children are often the prime targets. In just Arizona alone, it is estimated that over one million children are victims of identity theft by illegal aliens. In Utah, 1,626 companies were found to be paying wages to the SSNs of children on public assistance under the age of 13.

    These innocent victims of identity theft suffer very real and very serious consequences in their lives.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    ...and generally don't cause problems when the punishment is deportation.

    Wouldn't you consider this oppressive in nature?

  • Tricky Prickears||

    On the part of the employer?

  • the innominate one||

    panola - how many of those crimes are unrelated to their immigration offenses?

  • ||

    I think the lower crime rate/immigrant correlation could partly be explained by immigrants being more likely to under report crime. The illegal ones, for obvious reasons, and even the legal ones if they come from countries with corrupt police, where they know it's pointless to report crime.

  • ||

    Illegal alien men make up just 2% of the overall population but account for 29% of federal prisoners. In other words, they are 15 times more likely to commit crimes than citizens.

    First of all, where did you get your statistics? A 2007 article notes that the DOJ says this percentage had been falling continuously at least through 2005.

    In 2000, 27 percent of the inmates in federal prisons were noncitizens. Some of these noncitizens were illegal immigrants, and some were in this country legally. In 2001, this percentage dropped to 24 percent, and it continued dropping over the next four years, falling to 20 percent in 2005.

    Bottom line: illegal immigrants make up significantly less than a third of the federal prison population, and the share has been falling in recent years.



    But second, and more important, what on earth makes you think you can take federal prison numbers -- a great minority compared to state prison numbers and a number generated by a completely different set of crimes that are particularly likely to target residents of other nations -- and believe that scales to a general conclusion?

  • BakedPenguin||

    First of all, where did you get your statistics?



    I think the missing citation was:

    Kelly, Chris. (2009). The Lonewacko Statistical Abstract of Illegal Immigration. Griffith Park, CA: Know-Nothing Press.

  • DJF||

    Wow, the America's Majority Foundation, a bunch of Neo-Cons who create videos tying 9/11 to Iraq. I sure am going to believe their study, after all they would not lie would they.

  • ..||

    panola - how many of those crimes are unrelated to their immigration offenses?

    Probably all of them. Getting busted for being in the country illegally gets you deported, not tossed in federal prison.

  • ||

    I'm sorry, but I have to say that Radley did a poor job on the Lou Dobbs show. At one point, he even agreed with Dobbs that "illegals" should be arrested and deported.

  • shecky||

    All those crime numbers are bogus because the latin gangs all lure their victims back to Ciudad Juarez where they can commit their crimes without bother, right?

    At least that was one of the threads we were grasping at in Radley's last post on the subject.

  • $20ForHeadDontCum||

    While pointing to lies, damned lies, and statistics might be enough for Reason, the people who actually have to deal with ImmigrationSideEffects know better. There may be something more insulting than voices from the cosmoclaves of DC and LA marshaling the lowered crime rates, produced by the HeightenedVigilance on the part of actual citizens that is necessary in areas exposed to wave after wave of illegal incursions, to justify further incursions. But I can't think of any.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Radley Balko writes: The authors are careful to explain that lots of variables contribute to a state's crime rate, and they warn that one should not conclude from their study alone that immigration reduces crime.

    Radley Balko is, of course, an idiot. None of his cherry-picked studies show a reduction in crime. They purport to show a reduction in the crime rate. In other words, because of all those "immigrants", there are more crimes. They just might be happening at a lesser rate.

    Perhaps the survivors of these victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens could explain that to Balko.

    For the facts about the wider issue, subscribe to my feed or search my archives. I've covered the wider issue for several years in thousands of posts, and I'll tell you all the things that Balko is too much of a hack to tell you.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Most libertarians are juvenile and cowardly. Rather than attempting to engage me in debate (and losing), they choose to smear.

    P.P.S. Apropos of nothing in particular, someone who used an IP address in Knoxville and another from the University of Tennessee has engaged in childish smears. And, Dave Weigel wrote about me on his site and then refused to approve my reply showing he was wrong.

  • ||

    The vast majority of illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities. For example, an illegal alien may commit three FELONIES to get a job - document fraud/forgery, perjury on an I-9 form and identity theft/fraud.

    According to a senior Social Security Administration official, roughly 75% percent of illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security numbers. Sgt. Mark Ebert of the Brownsville, Texas Police Department reports that "Identity theft and illegal immigration go hand in hand."

    In fact, states with the highest percentage of illegal aliens also tend to have the highest rates of both total and job related identity theft. Texas ranks fourth in the nation for total ID theft and job related identity theft makes up 27% of all ID theft in Texas.

    Children's Social Security numbers are highly sought after by illegal aliens because no one checks their credit histories. In Arizona, 33% of all identity theft is employment related and it is estimated that over one million children have their identities being used by adults.

    Children whose Social Security numbers are used by someone else may be denied Medicaid benefits, burdened with corrupted credit histories and denied means test educational assistance. Adults whose numbers are used by illegal aliens are denied unemployment insurance, mortgages and saddled with police records and tax liabilities on income that they did not earn. Even medical records may be corrupted with life threatening consequences. These are not victimless crimes.

    Thus, contrary to what the advocates for illegal aliens would have us believe, illegal aliens are not law abiding and they routinely commit serious felonies with real victims. See Illegal but Not Undocumented: Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment." http://www.cis.org/articles/2009/back809.pdf

  • ||

    An illegal immigrant worker who is using another's SSN for employment is paying 15% (both his and the employer's share) of every dollar they earn into a system that they cannot collect from.

    But you all knew illegals were delaying the collapse of the system with their labor and FICA taxes, right?

  • ||

    Illegal aliens are criminals and parasites, one and all. Their very presence here and practically everything they do on U. S. soil is illegal. They need to be ferreted out, rounded up like cattle, punished for their numerous crimes, then booted back to whence they snuck in from with such extreme prejudice that they will never, ever think of violating our sovereignty again. Enough is enough.

    Watch The Obama Deception Here Free---> http://tinyurl.com/ObamaDeceptionHD

  • $20ForHeadDontCum||

    I once again ask the Reason website powers that be to take action against "24AheadDotCom" for spoofing me, and send me his/her (probably her) IP address information so their defamation can be prosecuted as far as the law allows. It is intellectually dishonest to allow this person to mimic my arguments about open borders proponents/sockpuppets cherrypicking data about immigration and crime.

  • Capt Obvious||

    The crime rate amongst *illegal* aliens: 100%

    Der?

  • snarkier-than-thou anarch||

    over one million children have their identities being used by adults



    Sure happens a lot on this blog.

  • wow||

    The vast majority of illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities. For example, an illegal alien may commit three FELONIES to get a job - document fraud/forgery, perjury on an I-9 form and identity theft/fraud.

    The vast majority of illegal aliens are in the country illegally.

  • wood0771||

    Does failure to assimilate comprehend to anyone? At least my family came here for freedom and not for financial gain only! Show me one Mexican that wants to speak English, no I'm not going to speak Spanish. What do you people want anyway, to open the flood gates wide open. You really want all 8 billion people to live here. Yea lets bring in people that want to do are shit jobs. Maybe they'll work for free if we give them free housing. Sounds like slavery dumb asses.

  • ||

    Maybe they'll work for a wage they find fair and their employers find fair, and then pay for their housing from that income. Actually, that sounds like freedom.

    It sure sounds a lot more like freedom than the notion that government should abrogate inalienable rights of travel, residence, and labor based on a condition of one's birth.

  • ||

    The vast majority of illegal aliens are in the country illegally.

    That is hardly interesting given that the vast majority of laws are well beyond the proper role of government.

  • ||

    Those of you who think it's no big deal to have an illegal alien using your SSN fraudulently should have no inhibitions about posting your SSN on this thread for the world to see. Maybe someone will contribute toward your Social Security account.

    Come on -- put your money where your mouth is.

  • ||

    More directly, a plausible nightmare scenario is having your SSN used by an illegal alien who claims 7 exemptions or whatever so that no taxes are withheld from their paycheck. Guess who the IRS is going to come after when the taxes on the illegal alien's income aren't payed on April 15?

    Good luck proving you didn't earn that income.

  • ||

    In the story, how does the TX comptroller know that illegal immigrants added $17B to the TX economy after the money spent to pay for the medical services?

    1. TX does not have a state income tax. There is no way to track those numbers.

    2. TX is very business-friendly and there a number of cash-only medical clinics especially in Hispanic-areas of TX's major metropolitan cities.

    I am not advocating illegal immigration. I just find it odd that the media (in a conservative state nonetheless) allows politicans and bureaucrats to go unchecked on these sort of statements.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Show me one Mexican that wants to speak English...

    Rrright. All those ESL classes are always empty, and nobody is buying all those learn to speak English courses advertised on Telemundo.

  • ||

    Those of you who think it's no big deal to have an illegal alien using your SSN fraudulently should have no inhibitions about posting your SSN on this thread for the world to see.

    And those of you who think it is a big deal to have an illegal alien using your SSN fraudulently should of course be advocating an easing of the measures taken by ICE, et al., to use SSNs to try to discover illegal aliens.

    A few years ago, before such measures were taken by the authorities, illegal immigrants would happily use ITINs on their employment forms, and the IRS would happily let them. Hell, even when illegal workers needed to use an SSN rather than the identifiable-on-sight ITIN, they would prefer to use one that no one else was using so they were in less danger of being caught due to someone else noticing their number was being used.

    But, in its unparalleled wisdom, government now hunts down those who use ITINs or unassigned SSNs, thus driving illegal immigrants to commit actual SSN fraud in order simply to be gainfully employed. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

  • ||

    In the story, how does the TX comptroller know that illegal immigrants added $17B to the TX economy after the money spent to pay for the medical services?

    The way these things are usually done: estimates and averages.

    You can read it yourself...

    The absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas in fiscal 2005 would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion. Undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state revenues, which exceeded the $1.16 billion in state services they received. However, local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state.

  • The viper is in your midst||

    Illegal aliens are criminals and parasites, one and all.

    No, the illegal aliens are doing exactly what anyone handed a blank check could be expected to do. The criminals and parasites are the ones who are handing them the blank check. Guess who?

  • ||

    Who?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    They purport to show a reduction in the crime rate. In other words, because of all those "immigrants", there are more crimes. They just might be happening at a lesser rate.

    ???Lonewacko, you call Radley an idiot and you post this?

    wow @9:10, I love your snark...

  • John J. Pecchio||

    The Criminal Mind Never Sleeps!
    America Should Focus On More Rights for the Victims and Fewer Rights for Criminals,
    Is What Our Judicial System Should Be Based On!

    Treating criminals like they were in a Sunday school for orphans and keep letting them turn prisons and courtroom into their personal playgrounds are not going to keep Correctional Facilities and society safe…

    Nor Can We Keep Avoiding Sex-Offenders and Pedophiles prancing around this country hiding behind their rights, when Ninety-Percent of Them Return To Prisons in One/ Three Years Committing the Same Crimes
    We now have over 600-thousand of these sex offenders in the United States and sadly, the police data bases cannot locate nor do they know where approximately 100,000 of them are located.
    I do believe we keep better track of library books then we do these
    Sex-offenders and Pedophiles in this county-

    Author John J. Pecchio
    Has A Website www.johnpecchio.com Filled With Personal Thoughts On Our Judicial System,
    Which Will Inform The Mind And Startle The Soul…

    His Books "Hell Behind Prison Walls" And
    "The Devil's Den Of Prison And Justice"
    Are Regional Bestsellers,
    Filled With True, Compelling and Gripping Stories-
    Of What Really Goes On Behind Those Prison Walls.

    John worked in a maximum-security prison for almost three-decades as a Vocational Instructor. His experiences and thoughts are in his books, along with personally suffering the negative effects of this volatile environment when he was brutally attacked by a prisoner who was serving two life sentences for multiple murders. This attack, which he describes in devastating detail, was induced by the ongoing failing prison systems, lacking administrative and prisoner discipline.
    Too many Americans naively believe that criminals go to prisons to be reform and will return back into society to live productive lives. But how can you reform criminals in today's prisons that have become contaminated with flaws, imbedded with unthinking, unknowing or corrupted officials and political bureaucrats that hide behind words, like, prison reform and rehabilitation just to keep the tax-dollars flowing into all these institutions.
    John invites the public to view his commercial-video on his Website- www.johnpecchio.com and see for yourself, how cold-blooded murders, rapist, pedophiles, drug-pushers, mentally unstable and extreme militants gangs, acting like psychopathic monsters and prehistoric man existing all over again, and that will show you who is really controlling all our federal and state correctional faculties.
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    With the loss of positive leadership in our prisons came the increase of prisoner's power, primarily caused by their ability to hide behind highly-defended "Civil Rights", which has now taken precedence above all else. These rights allowed them to live without fear of strong retribution for their actions, thereby leading to a breakdown in inmate behavior and resulting in riots, fights, and physical and verbal abuse of prison workers.
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    John J. Pecchio Author

  • Mike Laursen||

    No, the illegal aliens are doing exactly what anyone handed a blank check could be expected to do.

    Scrub toilets and wash dishes?

  • Zeb||

    Yes, it is bad that illegal immigrants use other people's SSNs. The solution to this problem is not to rant about how they are all criminals and should be deported, or shot, or rounded up like cattle or some such thing. The solution is to have an immigration and employment system that acknowledges the existence of reality. Immigration is an economic fact and is not going to change much based on policy. If there is work to be had, they will come. And that is how it should be. There is no free market if you do not also have free movement of labor.
    So, all you people who are telling us what awful criminals these immigrants are, I hope you are lobbying your representatives to do something constructive about it, in other words, more work visas for unskilled labor, relax the SSN requirements for employment.

  • JB||

    Um, I'm willing to bet that immigrants report crime at a lower rate and I'm even more willing to bet that illegal immigrants report crime at an even lower rate.

    Is it a 'crime' if it's not reported?

  • ||

    Is it a reason to exclude illegal immigrants if the crime happens to illegal immigrants?

  • ||

    Those who come here illegally, steal our IDs and ignore our laws have already demonstrated they lack the honesty and decency to ever become American citizens.

    a.) Enforce the existing immigration laws.
    b.) Secure the border.
    c.) Don't hire illegal aliens.
    d.) No anchor babies.
    e.) Deportation through attrition.

  • ||

    Those who come here illegally, steal our IDs and ignore our laws have already demonstrated they lack the honesty and decency to ever become American citizens.

    Just curious... Were you living in the northern states of 1855, would you apply the same standard to fugitive slaves?

  • ||

    We didn't have a welfare state in 1855. Mass immigration is the Viagra of the state. Mass immigration grows government at every level. Local, state, and federal. Corporate welfare for the elite while the working poor and lower middle class suffers. Reason magazine is a pimp for the corporate welfare state. Goods and services expire with time. People have consequences. They start voting for a larger and larger share of my wallet. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

  • ||

    William R,

    I was responding to someone who thought disregarding the law was all the reason one needed to excuse the abrogation of the rights of immigrants.

    Are you saying that if the welfare state of today existed in 1855, you would have turned in fugitive slaves, but if it didn't you wouldn't?

  • ||

    I wouldn't feel proud about Bud Kennedy noting this article. He's nothing but an un-deserving promoted ex food critic that looks like he ate Ft. Worth. His bias in his "opinions" make it obvious that he is a left wing loon. His greatest claim to fame is making a teen aged girl cry for carrying a purse to school with a confederate flag on it. According to him this made her a racist. So if anyone believes him that illegals generated almost $18 BILLION for the economy, I want to sell them what used to be south Texas but is now northern Mexico

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