O'Rourke Repeats False Claim on Immigrants Committing less Crime than Americans
2020 hopeful uses false pro immigration narrative at event
2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke repeated a lie claiming recent immigrants (illegal or not) are significantly less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
At a campaign event, Beto was asked a predictable question about “restor[ing] global trust in American leadership.”
Unsurprisingly, Beto waded into President Donald Trump being an “absolute disaster,” then accusing the president of calling asylum seekers “animals," despite it being false.
Beto went on to maintain that Trump characterized “those immigrants who come to this country as rapists and criminals, though they commit crimes at a far lower rate than those who are born in this country.”
A lot of studies that push similar claims tend to be centered around faulty data.
According to the Washington Examiner: First, crimes — especially violent crimes — tend to occur within the same ethnic communities. And immigrants who are victims of immigrant crime, for one reason or another, usually neglect to report incidents to police out of fear.
A 2018 New York Times article, for example, said that from 2016 to 2017, Houston police saw a 16% drop in domestic violence reports, likely because immigrant victims feared that they or someone close to them might be deported.
Latinos in the city reporting rape to police also had dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year.
“Undocumented immigrants and even lawful immigrants are afraid to report a crime,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told the paper.
Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver, cities with high Hispanic populations, saw similar declines in reports of crime to the police, according to the Times.
You can say that this is Trump’s fault since it was his first year in office, but anyone would be kidding themselves about believing that illegal immigrants and legal immigrants with family members living in the country unlawfully didn’t have the same fear before.
They certainly did, even if it intensified with Trump’s election.
Second, the “native-born” in these studies include children born of immigrant parents.
That's significant when the question is about the relationship between immigration and crime.
If an immigrant couple (legal or not) comes to the United States and gives birth to a child who eventually joins a gang and beats someone, that’s a native-born crime, but it's also a crime that could have been prevented through better immigration enforcement.
It would be wise, at the very least, to compare the native-born to immigrants of the same generations and to look at crime between ages of native birth in the U.S.
Third, any study aiming to prove that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans would need to be adjusted for the number of criminal immigrants who are deported and the number of migrants with criminal records who are arrested by border authorities.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection from fiscal years 2016 to 2018 apprehended nearly 30,000 illegal immigrants who had prior criminal convictions in the U.S.
That includes domestic violence, burglary, fraud, drunk driving, homicide, drug dealing, and sexual offenses.
Because those immigrants are caught crossing and then quickly deported, and because other immigrants who've committed additional crimes are swept up in raids or deported after serving prison sentences, they don't have the same opportunity that American-born criminals have to re-offend.
American-born criminals, after all, cannot be sent to another country. We're stuck with them.
The Migration Policy Institute, using data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has numbers of convicted illegal immigrants who were deported from 2008 to 2015.
The total: nearly 1.5 million. Assuming that all 1.5 million had been allowed to remain in the U.S., recidivism rates suggest that 1.2 million of them would have likely committed another crime.
You won’t find that factored into any study.
And even if statistics could prove that immigrants (illegal or not) committed crimes at a lower rate than native-born citizens, what exactly would it prove? There should be zero crimes committed by those not entitled to be in the U.S. in the first place.
Those permitted to come legally should be above reproach as a matter of policy.
The U.S. already has to deal with its native-born criminals; it doesn't need to import even just a single new one.
O’Rourke and most of the national media are lying about immigration and its relationship to crime.
That tells you everything you should know about how popular Trump is on both issues.