Bill Frist's Magical Crime-Fighting Fence

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Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), pushing for a fence, armed with a blog, pimps this stat:

Take the case of San Diego. According to the FBI Crime Index, crime in San Diego County dropped 56.3% between 1989 and 2000, after a fence stretching from the Ocean to the mountains near San Diego was substantially completed. And, according to numbers provided by the San Diego Sector Border Patrol in February 2004, apprehensions decreased from 531,689 in 1993 to 111,515 in 2003.

That's why I strongly support the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Warren Meyer has a thorough debunking, starting with the cherry-picked time frame—during which crime dropped in large measure throughout the country. (Comments Meyer: "The border fence in San Diego even had a similarly large effect on crime in New York State! That thing is amazing.") Further, the stadium light-laden, two-layered, fancy-pants fence Frist is frothing after only went up in 1996, making the souped-up version an unlikely candidate for explaining a decade-long drop in crime.

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  1. Huh, in an a decade of economic boom, crime drops to record lows. Who woulda figured that one?

    Perhaps the entire dotcom bubble was a direct result of the fence. If so, we need to build a bigger better one now, for the economy!

  2. Causation? Whaaahhhh, uh, what’s that?

    Oh, and along the same vein as Frist’s reasoning

    Global temps have been rising, while in the EXACT SAME time frame, the number of pirates has been steadily declining.

    That’s why I strongly support the Pirate Subsidization Act of 2006.

  3. Aaaaarrrrr, wontcha give? Here’s wee little Pegleg Billy. He lost his parrot in a raid on Bermuda. Without a parrot, he’s no pirate, damn his hide, and we’ll run his bonnie arse through with a sword.

    We’re runnin’ low on the grog, as well. What’s good for piratin’ is good for America!

  4. “But a 5-fold drop in border apprehensions is hard to argue against, no? Plus, NYCs drop in crime took place because of Rudy Giulliani’s tough-on-crime policies. Did San Diego County coincidently implement similar policies during the same time frame? 56.3% drop is huge.”

    of course there was a drop. It’s like fixing a really old leaky radiator…you plug up one leak, another one springs up somewhere else. Once the immigrants found out that it was difficult to get through via San Diego County, they just tried somewhere else.

    It’s impractical and unfeasible to build a fence that somehow stems the overall flow in any meaningful numbers.

    “Yes it was easier on my great, great, great grandparents to get in when they came over from Ireland, but at least they were expected to work.”

    Yeah, I know, look at all those lazy Mexicans, layin around, without a caaare in the world! Oh, wait, the Mexicans I know wake up at 5am and work in the hot-ass sun for the next 10 hours. Not to mention the fact that many illegals actually pay their taxes just to keep the IRS away, but they don’t use any public services whatsoever. I’ve seen studies that have shown that something like 80% of illegals pay federal withholding, yet only 65% use many public services.

    NAL, I could understand your concern a little more if there were a bunch of lazy bastards pouring into our borders, hopping on welfare, and never paying a dime in taxes…but that’s just not the reality. Kinda sucks when your whole argument is based on some blithe assumption that turns out to be wrong, doesn’t it?

  5. “bunch of lazy bastards pouring into our borders, hopping on welfare, and never paying a dime in taxes”

    Well not the working age people but how about the kids? They don’t require education, health care, infrastructure etc?

    As I’ve said before on this post it’s takes a lot of laborers’ deductions to pay for one kid to go to school.

  6. From the stats I’ve seen, the majority of the illegals come here, leave their family in their home country, make money, and send a big portion of it back to their family.

    Given how difficult it is for a healthy adult to make the illegal crossing, I don’t think too many of them take their kids along with them. Anecdotally, this is my observation as well. So, yes, I think that the vast numbers of mexican men working here and paying taxes while their wife & kids are still back home in Mexico does indeed counteract the small percentage who drag their family along or meet someone here and have kids on our soil.

  7. From the stats I’ve seen, the majority of the illegals come here, leave their family in their home country, make money, and send a big portion of it back to their family.

    Given how difficult it is for a healthy adult to make the illegal crossing, I don’t think too many of them take their kids along with them. Anecdotally, this is my observation as well. So, yes, I think that the vast numbers of mexican men working here and paying taxes while their wife & kids are still back home in Mexico does indeed counteract the small percentage who drag their family along or meet someone here and have kids on our soil.

  8. Well PL, I see you have taken full license with it being national Talk Like a Pirate Day

  9. As I’ve said before on this post it’s takes a lot of laborers’ deductions to pay for one kid to go to school.

    Um… the majority of the money for public schools comes primarily from property taxes, which are impossible to avoid if you rent. Some schools are subsidized by sales taxes, and you can be pretty sure that immigrants pay those, too.

  10. Indeed. Evan! started it with his Pirate Subsidization Act of 2006, however. I must confess, though, that we Tampanians are addicted to piracy.

  11. Um… the majority of the money for public schools comes primarily from property taxes, which are impossible to avoid if you rent. Some schools are subsidized by sales taxes, and you can be pretty sure that immigrants pay those, too.”

    Yep, that 10% of the rent covers the thousands it costs to send one kid to school. Anyway how much property tax do you think rental buildings in pooper areas pay? It’s not nearly enough to cover the cost if you have kids. Other people are picking up the slack.

  12. StupendousMan is right! Poor Americans who pay property taxes fully fund the education of their own children, while poor illegal immigrants paying the same taxes do not.

  13. not subsidizing the militaries of degenerate oligarchies is cheaper than a Southern Maginot line.
    But massive migration here profits some.
    question. Are you one of the “some”
    If so, why dont you all “privately” underwrite those various Latin American satrapies?
    Oh. You would rather have the general taxpayer do it.
    Ah, yes. “Market forces” once again revealed.
    “Invisible hand”…..you got to be kidding me.
    In Guatemala, they are the Kabiles. In El Salvador, they were the “White Hand”. Honduras? the military. Mexico? Dont know what they call them there- tell ya what, tho: the patchecks get cut, ultimatly, in the US.
    Nicaragua? Billions to the FDN, AKA el Guardia.
    What absolute pathetc shit, the whole bloody go around.
    Market forces. Kiss my ass.

  14. Evan! and Lamar,

    See this Center for Immigration study:
    http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/mexico/means.html

    It presents lots of data in graphical form showing how Mexican Immigrants use substantially more of every government assistant program available than the general population AND all other immigrants. Quite frankly, I didn’t need this study to know the obvious. I live in New Mexico and see it every day. I have relatives in both TX and AZ and they see it as well. It’s quite common to see a 17-18-year-old girl with 2+ kids and can’t speak a word of english. How do you suppose she’s feeding and clothing them?

    Quote from article:
    “Despite welfare reform and a strong economy in the latter half of the 1990s, the figure shows that immigrants in general and Mexican households in particular use every major means-tested program at higher rates than natives. While use of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by Mexican households is only slightly higher than that of natives, their use of TANF/general assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, and the subsidized school lunch program is dramatically higher than households headed by natives. ”

    Earlier in the article it explains that “Mexican Immigrants” includes illegals:
    “Even if the immigrant himself is not eligible because of legal status (illegals are barred from using most programs) or length of residence in the country (one of the conditions of welfare reform), immigrant families can still receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, whose welfare eligibility is the same as any other native-born American. Also, in many cases state governments have chosen to provide benefits to otherwise ineligible immigrants. ”

    Still think we aren’t importing poverty?
    NAL

  15. I thought the drop in crime during the nineties was due to Roe v. Wade…

  16. From the stats I’ve seen, the majority of the illegals come here, leave their family in their home country, make money, and send a big portion of it back to their family.

    That was certainly true before the 80s crackdown. As it became more difficult to cross the border stays became longer and whole families began to cross. In some cases children who have been left with extended family are taking of because they miss their parents. This would be avoided if the parents could return from time to time to reunite with family.

    Unintended consequences anyone.

    As an American who has lived and worked in two other countries for long periods I can tell you, I never considered becoming a citizen of either one. Not everyone wants to become an American citizen.

    And if you look at immigrants historically you will find the same thing. There were some years between the 1880s and 1920s when more Italians left the US than entered.

  17. “In some cases children who have been left with extended family are taking of because they miss their parents. This would be avoided if the parents could return from time to time to reunite with family.”

    I’m missing what you’re trying to say. The children are taking off from where to where?

  18. They are leaving their homes in Honduras, Mexico or wherever and trying to find their parents in New York City, Chicago or wherever. Many don’t make it. Sometimes they have only a vague idea of where their parents are. In some cases the parents my not even be living together but may have gone where each can make the most money.

  19. Dangerous lunacy: cutting off arms & political support for murderous oligarchies that promote forced emigration to avoid the noose.
    Practicle Market realities: use the refiugees for cheap labor. Cram them in slums – hell who will they complain to? for those you cant exploit? – are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?
    Nothing like sanctimony, as the gold fills yer pockets……

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