Crime

What the New FBI Crime Stats Suggest About Arizona, Immigrants, and Crime

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Daniel Griswold at Cato's blog looks at some numbers, and some suppositions:

One of the clinching arguments for Arizona's tough new law aimed at illegal immigration has been the perception in that state that crime has been rising, and that undocumented workers are largely to blame. Yet…the incidence of violent crime in Phoenix last year plunged 16.6 percent compared to 2008, a rate of decline that was three times the national average.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, the downward trend in crime has continued into 2010 even as the "illegal immigrant crime wave" story reverberates on cable TV and talk radio.

The Wall Street Journal story that Griswold relied on. Americans appear to be weathering this recession without an increased resort to violent crime. Who says Hit and Run never focuses on the good news?

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  1. Send this to Ron Paul and his idiot son Rand. They’re both all for keepin’ the Mexicans out.

    1. What about Mexican libertarians? Should they be allowed in?

      1. What about Professor Bernardo de la Paz?!?

        1. Was he Mexican?

          1. He has a Mexican-sounding name, just like everyone not American or Canadian!

            (actually, I think he was Brazilian)

            1. Damned Mexican!

              1. Are you calling me an illegal?!? You’re the one with the Panamanian wife that you had brought here by drug mules and then kept in your basement for the first few years!

                1. Half-Colombian, you half-wop racist.

                  1. Insult-exchanging aside, she’s never been to Colombia. We’ve talked about going (her dad is from Colombia, so she has relatives down there), but we both wonder how safe it is for family travel.

                    1. Kidnappings are all the rage, I hear.

                    2. Yeah, me, too. I got other places that interest me more, anyway.

                      Besides, I saw Romancing the Stone.

      2. If they’re all like Old Mexican, I’m going to become a pro bono mule, I swear.

    2. To be fair, the Pauls are for keeping the Mexicans out based on unsustainable welfare promises, not based on presumed criminal proclivities.

  2. It seems to me that the illegal alien population has probably grown smaller in Arizona since the bust, since there are not that many construction jobs or service jobs for tourism available right now. I know the Republicans think differently, but the Mexicans who come up aren’t going to hang around if they can’t make money.

    It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between immigration outflow as a result of the crappy economy and the decrease in crime in Arizona.

    Thus, the statistics could potentially support a showing that decreasing alien populations actually do correlate to a decrease in crime.

    1. What? You mean they might actually move away to other places when work is hard to find, just like all those “real” ‘mericans do? Since when are they here looking to work? I thought your types kept telling us they were just going to flood in endlessly to take advantage of welfare… Imagine, they almost sound like normal people just looking to get a job and support a family.

      1. I actually don’t support the bill. I just had that thought and wondered what I would have to make of it if the correlation turned out to be true. Some times facts don’t work out as we want them to to fit our worldview, and this could be one.

        Plus, I thought it worth noting that there could be another way to spin the statistics other than as noted in the post above.

        1. And further to your post, I assume most illegals are rational, come here for work, and then move on if the work does not materialize or if the conditions in Arizona are not favorable to them for other reasons.

          1. My apologies for the incorrect imputation.

  3. Now if only Reason.tv focused on good news more often.

    How about an un-nanny of the month?

  4. It’s all due to good ol Joe Shaprio (or whatever his name is)

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Heil Arp?o!

  5. http://www.politico.com/news/s…..37759.html

    Barack Obama orders Guard to Mexican border

    1. To stop the North Koreans?

      1. That’s the BAD Korea!

  6. Why, it’s almost as if the FBI fed a friendly at the WSJ those numbers to give a pretext for this exact editorial. And no one suspected it (in the morning links thread! especially not me!)!

  7. The Arizona decrease in violent crime corresponds with a rapidly decreasing illegal immigrant population as well as a nationwide decrease in violent crime.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..-declines/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..ted_States

    The test of the new laws effect won’t be realized until the change in violent crime in Arizona is compared to nationwide rates in the future.

    1. “the downward trend in crime has continued into 2010 even as the ‘illegal immigrant crime wave’ story reverberates”

      sounds like the law is working like it’s supposed to.

    2. Again… What? You mean they might actually move away to other places when work is hard to find, just like all those “real” ‘mericans do? Since when are they here looking to work? I thought your types kept telling us they were just going to flood in endlessly to take advantage of welfare… Why do they care if there are jobs? Imagine, they almost sound like normal people just looking to get a job and support a family.

      1. But they speak funny and park on their lawn and eat crazy food and have terrible, sparse mustaches!

        1. I can forgive much, but bad mustaches are a sin.

          1. The food usually isn’t too much of a problem either.

            But the language thing chaps a lot of people. Driving by the local school and seeing the billboard instructons in Spanish is irking.

      2. What are “our” types? People who try to look at evidence objectively and understand what it might mean rather than reflexively assuming everything supports our worldview and then cramming the facts into whatever box they need to fit in to confirm our biases?

        1. I shouldn’t have used the “your types” presumptively, and I apologize. Further, it wasn’t needed at all for the overall point, which stands. If lack of work really does result in immigrants going somewhere else, than the entire “they’re only coming here for welfare” argument goes out the window.

          Of course I’m not assuming this is true or not true, nor do I know if the crime statistics are or are not true, and if they are whether they’re connected to the immigrant issue. For me, those are essentially irrelevant, as freedom of movement and association are fundamental individual human rights not subject to collectivist arguments about group characteristics. I’m simply pointing out the implications of your, and others, suggestion that maybe immigrant numbers are falling because of the lack of jobs with respect to a very common argument around here over many years.

      3. Yeah, a minimum wage job where they will still be a net drain on the economy. They’ll pay almost no taxes, but get free health care, education, ect.

        If your reply is, “Well, government shouldn’t supply those things.”, my response is, “Then why do you want to let in a group that voted 70% for Obama?”

        1. What group of immigrants aren’t going to vote for him/free shit?

  8. But they’re illegal, dammit! Every freakin’ one of em’s a criminal!

    1. Ah yes, the old they’re all illegal bit…great to see the statists are well represented around here.

  9. Correlation between two sets of very fuzzy numbers…always a path to the truth – no matter how you see it.

    (~_^)

    1. Correlation may or may not have anything to do with causation, obviously. If there is any causal link, it may be secondary.

      One could imagine the link is that with less immigrant traffic, the violence of the gangs who exploit them (human smugglers, etc.) also decreases, since there is less business to fight over.

      1. Or more violence as there is less business to fight over, so you fight harder…would be a tough case to make one way or the other.

  10. I have been told (OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN): illegul Messikins are responsible for a crime spree that makes John Dillinger look like a golderned Sunday School teacher.

    Are you trying to say that’s not true?

    1. It’s a crazy thing, but it seems they come here for jobs.

      1. Jobs aren’t the only reason. They want the best America has to offer. That includes free education for their children, emergency room care, and more honest police.

        Shit, do you only live where you do for your job?

        1. Shit, do you only live where you do for your job?

          Yes. It turns out that one starves very quickly on hopes and dreams.

          1. Are you actually implying every illegal who comes here would be starving had they not crossed the border?

            Or, in your situation, your skills are so unique, that there’s only one location in the world that needs them? Despite the totalitarian urge of our governments, most of us have a choice where to live.

            I’ll grant you that the vast majority probably come here because they are close to starving. But it’s not like the U.S. is just a place where you exchange labor for food and shelter. The extras are definitely attracting more than would come otherwise.

  11. The Arizona decrease in violent crime corresponds with a rapidly decreasing illegal immigrant population as well as a nationwide decrease in violent crime.

    IOW, no valid conclusions can be drawn from this data as presented. Sure, the decrease in crime in Phoenix was more than the nationwide decrease, but what about other big cities with comparable crime rates? How much has the illegal immigrant population in Phoenix gone down?

    Cato plays a dangerous game, here, if a correlation* can be drawn between Phoenix’s dramatic drop in crime and a dramatic drop in its illegal immigrant population.

    *Note the use of the word “correlation”, which literate folk know does not imply causation.

    1. Dammit, RC, did it to me again!

  12. Miami Company Creates “Gringo Masks” for Illegals

    http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/w…..82694.html

  13. This again? Why the insistence on presenting possible correlation as causation? Saying “there are a lot of immigrants in Arizona” doesn’t tell us what percentage of the population they are. It also makes no distinction between illegal and legal. Obviously, if you believe that there should be open borders you are opposed to the distinction. If you are trying to convince the unconverted, however, articles like these fail terribly.

    I have no idea if immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are more prone to crime than citizens. I would be happy to be convinced that they are not, but, for some reason, I never see articles that actually try and count the percentage of illegals to the percentage of overall crimes committed by the same. If non-immigrant crime has been going down (it has) then immigrant crime could be increasing with a net decrease in crime. I don’t know, but this study doesn’t say, either.

    As has been discussed here in the comments section, demographics plays a huge part in crime. I forget the exact number but I believe that around 75% of all violent crime is committed by young men. If the majority of immigrants are young men, the chances are greater that they will commit more crimes. If they are not it should be big news. Are they not? This study doesn’t say anything about percentages of crimes committed by type, only the overall number of crimes.

    So, is the data unavailable? I admit I am to lazy to look for it myself but I am curious as to it’s absence. Is there data that actually shows that illegal immigrants commit less crime, or only studies that show that some cities with high numbers of immigrants have had a reduction in crime in the entire population?

    1. +1000

    2. Also too lazy to look it up right now..But I will just say that the only time I have seen numbers presented, they indicated that immigrants (including illegals) commit fewer crimes than native borns no matter how ya slice it.

      Someone will chime in that being here illegally make 100% of illegals criminals…but we’ll ignore them.

    3. The stats I’ve seen show that the immigrants themselves have lower crime rates, but their kids have higher rates (and higher dropout rates and higher out-of-wedlock birthrates and higher unemployment rates…)

  14. Can we just outlaw Mexican music? It’s really horrible.

    1. Seriously, I want to go back in time and murder the Eastern Europeans who introduced polka music to them.

    2. Actually the old traditional stuff isn’t bad (see Arhoolie records), it’s this 4th degeneration crap with synthesized tubas for bass that’s just fucking awful…

  15. Those stats actually make a case FOR the tough new law. As several above have pointed out fewer Mexicans because of the crash, means less crime. So Mexicans ARE the source of crime the law is trying to control.

    1. Since most crime happens to poor people, and one would especially expect crime to happen to poor people who are wary about reporting it to the police, illegal aliens are at least as likely to be the targets of the crime the law is trying to control.

  16. First rule of critical thinking, don’t take as fact an assertion emanating from the state.

  17. The issue is not the increase in crime due to the number of illegals in AZ; rather, it is the millions it costs the state in having to provide social services.

  18. Hmmm…. seems to be at odds with what’s being reported in the CS Monitor

    1. You mean the facts are at odds with political grandstanding? Tr?s surprise!

  19. “the perception in that state that crime has been rising, and that undocumented workers are largely to blame”

    I don’t think it’s the undocumented workers being blamed, it’s the drug gangs and such with snakes tattooed on their faces that kind of gives you pause…

  20. After a steady annual reduction in crime, the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report reveals a slow but sure yearly increase in crime, especially violent crime. Some criminologists attribute the rise in crime to illegal aliens who come into the United States with a criminal background.

    Many illegal aliens in the United States have been arrested and incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, adding to already overcrowded prisons and jails. The US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens who are incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.

    Eighty percent of all arrests occurred in three states ? California, Texas, and Arizona. Specifically, about 58 percent of all arrests occurred in California, 14 percent in Texas, and 8 percent in Arizona.
    Sources: Government Accounting Office, US Department of Justice, National Security Institute

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