Patterico's Pontifications

4/5/2007

Illegal Immigration And Drunk Driving

Filed under: Crime,Immigration — Justin Levine @ 5:12 pm



[posted by Justin Levine] 

I have never seen Bill O’Reilly yell so loudly.

He is referring to this case.

What he and Geraldo don’t know (yet) is that film director Bob Clark and his son were also killed by an illegal alien in a DUI accident. Few media outlets have reported the immigration aspect of the story yet. KFI’s Eric Leonard was the first to break this angle.

Was this factoid unknown to the rest of the media? If so, why did they not think to check? If it was known by others, why wasn’t it reported? It is sad to think that the only logical explanations seem to be either incompetence or bias.

Will DUI become a new focal point in the immigration debate? Stay tuned… 

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I can’t monitor the L.A. Times from my Treo, as the paper insists on shifting all Internet traffic from mobile phones (like my Treo) to a special version of the Web site that blocks most stories.

Justin, I commend you for reporting this angle promptly on my site. I’m officially putting you in charge of monitoring the L.A. Times to see if the local paper of record has even a peep about this critical aspect of the story. Please keep us all up to date on this.

The pay will be the usual [insert smiley face emoticon here].

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: The mobile version of the story does not report the suspect’s illegal status. Big shock there.

[Update x3 by Justin Levine – 9:05pm PST]:  The AP has finally gotten its act together after riding Eric Leonard’s coattails in breaking this story. The L.A. Times?….Nope. Still no mention.

[Update x4 by Justin Levine]:  Unlike others, the L.A. Times has chosen not to feature the illegal immigration angle in its headline. However, as of 9:54 PM PST, the L.A. Times has finally acknowledged the fact in its coverage. I myself would have played up the issue in the headline – but that is a difference that editors can reasonably disagree on (as long as the issue is at least mentioned in the overall coverage). Still, this episode does nothing to soothe fears that the L.A. Times is choosing to ignore vital elements to news stories due to their own political viewpoints.

100 Responses to “Illegal Immigration And Drunk Driving”

  1. If you lose your driving privileges in Mexico because you are a chronic drunk driver, you can always have a fresh start by moving north of the border.

    Same thing applies to all of the criminals who start out in Mexico. Eventually the time comes where they need to come to the US to ply their trade. It’s a fresh start and there are no prying eyes to look over them.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  2. When are our elected officials going to start enforcing the immigration laws? My wife was hit by a documented illegal immigrant. He had a forged drivers license, so he was not “undocumented”. This kind of crime hurts Americans every day and anyone who speaks up against it is automatically a “racist”.

    tyree (79820d)

  3. If I or someone I love gets killed by a drunk driver, the least critical fact is the nationality or legal status of the driver.

    As much as I hate Geraldo, at least he’s rational enough to understand this.

    aplomb (88c316)

  4. I actually emailed Andrew Blankstein from the LATimes at about 9 am, pointing out that the lack of a driver’s license was a ‘red flag’ for illegal immigrant. He wrote back in essence saying that that the public authorities had rules against disclosing such background info on suspects, but that they (the Times reporters) were trying to get it. We’ll see… At least Blankstein responded to my query, got to give him points for that

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  5. Aplomb,

    from a personal perspective you are correct. However, from a public policy perspective, immigration status is relevant. Those on the open-borders side always point to the benefits of mass immigration, but there are also costs. This accident is one of those costs, and unfortunately it is not an isolated incident. Because the man was ‘somebody’, this will get more attention than it would have, and so it is a good teaching moment.

    We should also give a thought to his son , seemingly a budding musician. How much cheap labor will make up for his loss.

    I might add that there is a certain melancholy about this. Christmas story is so very American, in the old school meaning of the word. Its director was literally killed what some like to promote as the new and improved America.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  6. Mitchell Young –

    “[Blankstein] wrote back in essence saying that that the public authorities had rules against disclosing such background info on suspects, but that they (the Times reporters) were trying to get it.” Eric Leonard reportedly got the info simply by calling federal authorities at ICE. Local L.A. authorities might still have such ‘rules’, but the feds don’t.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  7. Aplomb –

    Does this philosophy of yours also extend to other crimes? Drug dealing? Gang membership? Terrorism?

    Do you feel that the immigration status is irrelevent to those crimes as well? If you think that it would be relevent in those instances, then why do you make an exception for DUI?

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  8. Either KFI’s reporters are more resourceful than the L.A. Times reporters — or they care more about the issue.

    Or maybe they are more resourceful because they care more about the issue.

    Patterico (56edc2)

  9. Of course I agree our illegal immigration problem (and its attendant complications re crime and victims) is out of control. And as far as drunk driving is concerned… IMHO, it’s time to stop pussyfooting around. If we really want to get serious… let’s abolish the term ‘DUI’ from the books and start prosecuting people for murder via criminal negligence (or attempted same) when innocent people get hurt or killed by these drunken idiots. It’s that simple.

    But as for O’Reilly… whether his detractors are right or wrong in doing so, it’s obvious that they, plus the stress O’Reilly has obviously placed on himself as the CEO of ‘Who’s lookin’ out for YOU?!’, is cracking him physically and emotionally. This, along with his cutting off the microphone of a guest who disagreed with him–politely!–yesterday–just hands the Olbermanns and Rosies of the world that much more ammo to fire at him. It’s wrong when Rosie acts like a bully; it’s wrong when Olbermann does it; and it’s wrong when O’Reilly does it. Period. To say nothing of the fact that screaming and yelling will only further polarize both sides in this (seemingly intractable) debate. Sure it’s good for ratings… but as O’Reilly himself might ask if he were still lucid enough to do so, “is it good for ‘the folks’?” Not by a long shot if you ask me.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if O’Reilly’s entire business relationship and/or friendship with Geraldo is ruined. And although it’s been a long while coming anyway, go ahead and also put me in the ‘former fan’ column for BOR and the Factor.

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  10. Do I have to obey the law? Yes.

    Do you have to obey the law? Yes.

    Are immigration laws more important than traffic laws or less? More, especially since 9-11.

    How many Americans and persons here legally have to die before our governments will protect us, their Job #1? Many more.

    Disgustingly, I think it will take the death of someone like one of Pelosi’s grandchildren –G*d forbid– before the Democrats can be forced to their senses. And even, it will be harder than it should be.

    America is no longer special.

    alexa kim (b35093)

  11. Well Justin,

    Maybe it’s the LAT editorship that has the ‘rules’.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  12. I watched the entire exchange and it ended on their usual more than civil terms. Geraldo was, as usual, clouded by emotion. I think the last time I saw Bill get that worked up was when that great GranPaPa Moonbat of the 80’s (a guy I really liked until he put on a dress for ratings), Phil Donohue implied that Bill wanted to send kids to die in Iraq. Bill lit into him pretty hard because he had a young relative about to deploy at the time.

    Frankly, I wish other program hosts would kill the guest’s mic’s more often. Too many hosts simply whimper in silence while letting some unruly human with diarrhea of the mouth verbally abuse the other guests and the viewing public because they’re afraid to stop the madness.

    alexa kim (b35093)

  13. Basically people are people, and a good number of them are stupid and a good number of them are violent, and a good number of them do crimes.

    Having millions of illegal immigrants in this country means that yes, we have many more criminals running around doing DUI, and robbery, and drugs. (I’m not sure I’d add terrorism, most of the threats there seem to be from people here legally somehow or another — were any of the 9/11 terrorists illegal immigrants?)

    But we also have many more basically honest working people who keep out of trouble, would be as appalled by a drunk driver as anyone else, deplore gangs and drugs, and are basically OK neighbors in all respects but that they are here in violation of the documentation laws. I live near, buy stuff from, and have worked with some.

    Part of the way I see it is colored by the fact I live in central Texas, where there are plenty of Mexicans and Central American illegals, but also plenty of legal immigrants, citizens of the second generation, and even some old hispanic families here longer than any whites or blacks. Hispanic neighborhoods and culture are why I like it here so much, most of them are fine folks, whatever their legal status.

    It just doesn’t matter when a violent or property crime is committed the background of the criminal around here. People are going to get pissed off equally at a drunk driver or a rapist or a shooting suspect whether they are black, white or Hispanic, legal or otherwise. We know too many “illegals” who are decent respectful people to gin up outrage and demand action against the entire group just because some of them, like some of any group, are idiotic drunk drivers, or murderers, or rapists.

    That’s one of the things many conservatives don’t understand about Bush, how he seemingly isn’t willing to jump on the anti-immigration bandwagon. It’s because he’s from Texas, where we are used to it and it isn’t such a bad thing that you have to completely overreact and start demonizing a whole group of people who are on the whole decent people just trying to make a life in a complex world.

    I always wondered why California seems to have a bigger problem with Hispanic culture and assimilating Hispanic immigrants, legal or otherwise, than Texas, considering its proximity to and former status as Mexican territory like Texas. I honestly don’t know what the difference is. Maybe it’s the size of the border and the fact that Hispanic culture and populations were always dominant in some parts of the state.

    aplomb (88c316)

  14. aplomb,

    It’s a shame that you’re too drunk on your own self-righteousness to comprehend what Mitchell Young wrote.

    Read it again.

    Patterico (44e3a6)

  15. Btw,

    I am not on an “anti-immigration bandwagon,” but rather an “anti-illegal immigration bandwagon.”

    Especially illegal immigrants who are otherwise criminals.

    Funny how the self-righteous such as yourself always choke on the word “illegal.”

    And I’m from Texas and live in L.A., so I don’t need your lecturing. There are reasons we have these laws, and what happened on P.C.H. is one of them.

    Patterico (a5719a)

  16. Aplomb –

    You ask “Were any of the 9/11 terrorists illegal immigrants?”

    The answer is YES – by virtue of the fact that some of them knowingly overstayed their visas after they expired. As everyone knows, federal authorities couldn’t have cared less at the time – which was one of the many factors that led to 9/11.

    You would then argue that such a fact is irrelevent and that we should not bother addressing reform of immigration checks because most people who overstay their visas aren’t terrorists? That is admittedly a different aspect of the immigration debate from those who secretly cross over the border without any visa at all. But it seems silly to try and argue that it is irrelevent to identify them when some from those same group end up killing U.S. citizens (and a director of one the greatest Christmas movies of all time) under any circumstances.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  17. I always wondered why California seems to have a bigger problem with Hispanic culture and assimilating Hispanic immigrants, legal or otherwise, than Texas, considering its proximity to and former status as Mexican territory like Texas. I honestly don’t know what the difference is. Maybe it’s the size of the border and the fact that Hispanic culture and populations were always dominant in some parts of the state.

    Um, what? Hispanic culture absolutely permeates my area of California, and most people around here are charmed by that. (For a number of reasons, I view ethnic diversity and assimilation as one of the country’s great strengths.)

    Immigration isn’t the problem being addressed here. Illegal immigration is.

    The issue of whether the killer is Hispanic or not seems totally irrelevant, and I don’t see Justin or Patterico arguing for that. Whether the killer is in the country legally or illegally is at least relevant to the debate.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  18. Pat: “I am not on an “anti-immigration bandwagon,” but rather an “anti-illegal immigration bandwagon.” Especially illegal immigrants who are otherwise criminals. Funny how the self-righteous such as yourself always choke on the word “illegal.” And I’m from Texas and live in L.A., so I don’t need your lecturing. There are reasons we have these laws, and what happened on P.C.H. is one of them.”

    I used the word illegal plenty of times in that post, or talked about legals or citizens or undocumenteds to show I didn’t choke on anything or downplay the illegality of their status. You can’t fairly accuse me of ducking that.

    And there are reasons we have these laws, but what happened on P.C.H. isn’t one of them.

    Prove me wrong, point to any source, legislative history, signing statement, or whatever to support the idea that our immigration policy is aimed at cutting down on drunk driving.

    Anyone can get killed by a drunk driver, and anyone who gets behind a wheel drunk can be a drunk driver.

    Bill O’Reilly could someday be a drunk driver. So could I, or you, if we get uncharacteristically stupid.

    When I read about the death of someone due to drunk driving, the very least important fact is the legal status of the drunk. The article should tell me who died, what they did and accomplished in life, what happened in the accident, who they left behind and what they have to say, and the fact that some dumbass drunk is responsible.

    The fact that the drunk happens to be an illegal alien is just pointless and irrelevant to me. Unless you can show that illegal aliens are drunk drivers to a wholly disproportionate ratio to other groups, the social issue of such a death is drunk driving, not illegal immigration.

    aplomb (88c316)

  19. Aplomb,

    It’s possible to support Hispanics in our communities and oppose illegal immigration. I don’t see much difference between Californians and Texans when it comes to this issue.

    You say you live in central Texas. If that means you live in Austin, you know your views are not shared by most Texans. Illegal immigration is an important issue to Texans and it’s been a concern for years.

    DRJ (d57665)

  20. Aplomb,

    Unlike Paterico and Justine, I am a restrictionist. I think large-scale immigration is a bad thing in the long run for the local environment, wages, equality, schools, and so on. Reasonable people can differ.

    Now, one of the restrictionist groups, ABI, rates congresspersons on immigration. The Texas delegation actually scores higher on their index (i.e. is more restrictionist) , than California’s. Not by much (C v. C-) , but the difference is probably statistically significant. It is difficult to square the oft heard claim that Texans don’t get worked up over immigration with the fact that their delegation is more restrictionist than ours.

    PS, I was stationed in San Angelo for a couple of months in my misspent youth, and quite frankly I didn’t see half the Hispanic impact that I see in California. What I did see were old, established Mexican-American families. Maybe that has changed.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  21. If I or someone I love gets killed by a drunk driver, the least critical fact is the nationality or legal status of the driver.

    For you perhaps, but I doubt it. The legal status of the driver is quite significant insofar as it allows the state to keep people who either have not been granted or abused the priveledge to operate a motor vehicle from behind the wheel. You start with the minor things like does the driver have a valid license, then move to appropiate questions based upon the answers. Did that 80 year old have restrictions based upon visual or hearing impairments? Was that 20 year old’s license revoked because of several reckless driving convictions. How many drunk driving convictions did that 40 year old have. If any of these, and a multitude of other possible paths leads to the conclusion that the person should not have been driving, then the logical question is why did authorities not do more to prevent such action, and this includes why wasn’t someone who is in-country illegally deported or in jail – especially if they have a record of drunk driving.

    OReilly was wrong to attack only the illegal alien status, just as Rivera was wrong to totally excuse that aspect. But as is often the case when you get two people adamant about the crosses they bear, honest debate rarely results.

    bains (8a0595)

  22. I meant Justin, not Justine. Sorry!

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  23. “Unless you can show that illegal aliens are drunk drivers to a wholly disproportionate ratio to other groups, the social issue of such a death is drunk driving, not illegal immigration.”

    Sez you.

    What I can show you is that this particular criminal should not have been in this country to begin with. Meaning this accident should never have happened.

    If you don’t see that as a social issue, fine — but plenty of people do. and with good reason.

    If you had been reading what I have to say about illegals for years, you would know that I have some sympathy for many of them, and agree with you that many of them are just trying to better themselves.

    Where I lose sympathy is when they violate the law. Every drunk driver who is an illegal should be deported, regardless of whether they killed anyone. Every criminal who is an illegal should be deported.

    Now, perhaps this fellow had no prior record. If so, it just points up the costs of not enforcing the laws we have on the books. We have to look at the drawbacks of illegal immigration, and not just the benefits. To do so is not demonizing a group of people, as you self-righteously suggested. It’s just confronting the facts.

    You would like to see this fact suppressed as “irrelevant.” You share the outlook of Big Media folks who decide that the public doesn’t need to know certain facts — even though the public would actually be quite interested to learn them. Are you by chance a reporter? If not, you’d fit right in . . .

    Patterico (78eb3f)

  24. Aplomb –

    People can legitimately differ on HOW important the illegal immigration factor is here. But the larger issue is that it is certainly ENOUGH OF A FACTOR such that the media should present such facts to people so that they can decide for themselves.

    It is fair to suspect that there is a deliberate supression of such facts in certain media quarters due to political correctness factors. Other members of the media need to be actively shamed into reporting it. It should certianly be relevent enough that newspapers should feel the need to reflexivley check on one’s immigration status when they are (1) Hispanic, and (2) driving without a license. The fact that they didn’t feel the need to check during their initial reports speaks volumes. THAT is the real issue here.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  25. Patterico

    Thats a totally worn out argument and only despots like Iran and North Korea use it. Even in Qatar if someone plows into the back of me its my fault because I’m not a native of that country.

    So its legal to kill someone drink driving as long as you are on a green card or have a passport in your pocket?

    Yes illegal immigration is wrong, screaming that look, look at what they did while totally ignoring that legal US residents kill illegal immigrants everyday as large populations are wont to do by happenstance is simply pandering to an excuse to enforce the laws by insinuating sweeping generalizations of a profile.

    we don’t need an excuse, we just need to enforce them or not enforce them.

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  26. Question to EricPWJohnson and Aplomb –

    If somebody with an Arabic name kills a Jew in the U.S. (i.e., the shooting incident at El Al Airlines at LAX a few years back), is it at all legitimate for the press to inquire and report if that person is a Muslim or not? Remember the Egyptian airline pilot who seemingly crashed the civilian airliner deliberately – thereby killing all of the passangers on board? Was it approporiate for the press to at least inquire and report on the ethnic/religious background of the pilot?

    Of course most Muslims don’t go around harming Jews (or anyone else for that matter). But that does not mean that it is illegitimate for the press to note such ethnic/religious elements from the perperators in order to let the public determine if there is a larger social problem at work here beyond the mere coincidence of a single person’s religious (or immigration) status. And yet, notions of political correctness can hamper that vital function of the press. The same dynamic is at work in the DUI debate.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  27. If I or someone I love gets killed by a drunk driver, the least critical fact is the nationality or legal status of the driver.

    Once your loved one is dead, you are correct–the status of the killer changes nothing. But what if you could cut her chances of being killed by a drunk driver by, say, 20 percent by simply treating all offenders according to the law? Would you do it?

    That’s the argument: eliminate threats by removing chronic offenders who are here illegally, use multiple false IDs, carry no insurance, and get wasted regularly. Geraldo also ignores this distinction.

    And re the Factor tonight (and I do get a kick out of him) I think O’Reilly is pushing himself for ratings a bit although I think he cares about the issue.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  28. “So its legal to kill someone drink driving as long as you are on a green card or have a passport in your pocket?”

    How on God’s green earth did you get *that* from what I said?

    Patterico (64d744)

  29. Aplomb,
    If our immigration laws were enforced, then that particular drunk driver would not have been on PCH that night, and Mr. Clark and is son would likely be alive today.

    stoo (6a5c32)

  30. Having read over the thread and rethinking what I wrote, I think I staked out a position more extreme than I meant to.

    I do think illegal immigration is a problem, obviously because it is illegal and because it lets anyone in, not just the bulk who are fleeing poverty to make a better life but also bunches of criminals. Including dangerous drunks or scum who couldn’t get a drivers’ license, but drive because they wouldn’t apply for a license anyway.

    And I’m sorry I injected the whole Texas and California thing. I’ve only visited California a few times. I’m just basing this on the fact that we have a bunch of Hispanics here, many of whom are illegal, and that, in itself, isn’t a big problem on everyone’s mind here locally, while a lot of the controversy dealing with legal and illegal immigration I read in the news seem to center on California. I just wondered why that was and I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it. I’m happy to write off this whole threadjack to my own ignorance if you all are, I admit I don’t really know what I’m talking about with respect to Californian or even overall Texas attitudes, so sorry for bringing it up.

    Here’s my point. Illegal immigration means more people in the US. That means more drunk driving deaths, more robberies, more rapes. Not because they are illegal aliens and thus are predisposed to commit crimes, but because they are people and more people means a small number of them will commit crimes.

    But, if we cured cancer tomorrow, we would save millions of lives. That would also mean more drunk driving deaths, more robberies, more rapes. Not because former cancer patients are predisposed to commit crimes, but because they are people and more people means a small number of them will commit crimes.

    If we cured cancer tomorrow and then a few former cancer patients got drunk and killed people with their cars, no one would suggest that we should have balanced the benefits and risks of curing cancer based on drunken driving. Because cured cancer patients are people, and some people get drunk and drive, and that’s a whole different issue. Drunk driving is irrelevant to the issue of cancer cure.

    So when I say the legal status of a drunk driver is irrelevant, I’m saying that illegal aliens in this country means many more people live here. They are mostly going to do things good bad or indifferent like all the rest of us. What we should do about it, whether they are a net positive or a net negative, how we can stop it or limit it, should turn on many relevant factors.

    That some of them get drunk and kill people, like legal immigrants or citizens, is irrelevant to the debate.

    aplomb (88c316)

  31. There’s a difference between viewing this issue statistically and anecdotally. Statistically, the percentage of illegal immigrants who commit crimes like DUI is a number – 5/10/?%. Anecdotally, if you are harmed by an illegal immigrant driving an uninsured vehicle, the odds that you will be harmed by illegal immigration are 100%. If you are that person, it’s hard not to wish America did a better job enforcing its immigration laws. Now that this type of incident is being reported and the statistics are becoming more noticeable, Americans are taking a harder look at this issue.

    DRJ (d57665)

  32. Justin: “If somebody with an Arabic name kills a Jew in the U.S. (i.e., the shooting incident at El Al Airlines at LAX a few years back), is it at all legitimate for the press to inquire and report if that person is a Muslim or not?”

    Well of course it is, it’s fair to initially suspect there was a religious and political motive, and to follow up on it to see if the killer was a Muslim who hated Jews, and to report on the problem. Some Muslims are violent and crazy and are organized to kill Jews and Americans. The “why” of the story about the killing would be about intentional religious hatred. It would be fully justified to investigate what the intentions were, who is behind it, and who else is involved.

    The “why” of a story about a drunk driver isn’t about race or religion or legal status or conspiracy or even intention to kill or harm. There aren’t organized groups of illegal aliens plotting to get drunk and kill our citizens. Even the individual drunk didn’t have any intention of harming anyone. The “why” is soley that some thoughtless idiot got drunk and drove. That idiot could be anyone. Hence my now tired argument that his residential status doesn’t much matter to the victim or us.

    Sorry for hitting this topic so hard Patterico, got caught up. I’m going to bed, thanks for the mostly polite and thoughtful responses all.

    aplomb (88c316)

  33. GEEZ LOUISE!

    3 times…3 times I’ve tried to post the LATimes Local News article (posted at 9:54 pm) that actually does say:

    Hector Manuel Velazquez-Nava, a native of Mexico who federal authorities said was in the U.S. illegally, faces possible charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and driving under the influence of alcohol. He received minor injuries in the early Wednesday accident on Pacific Coast Highway and is being held at the Van Nuys Jail. Although bail has been set at $100,000, his undocumented status makes him ineligible for release on bond, police said.

    But when I put in the link, the commentposting thingie FUSSES at me!

    Darleen (187edc)

  34. Thanks, Darleen.

    I’ll have to ask Justin to update the post. It’s too long for me to update.

    They’ve been very slow to report similar things in the past. Maybe we’re starting to shame them into it.

    Kudos to KFI and Eric Leonard.

    Patterico (7df452)

  35. Pat

    Well, I was sure surprised to see it…second paragraph no less.

    I heard John&Ken this on the ride home. Maybe someone from the LATimes was listening …

    Pigs can fly!

    Darleen (187edc)

  36. So when I say the legal status of a drunk driver is irrelevant, I’m saying that illegal aliens in this country means many more people live here. They are mostly going to do things good bad or indifferent like all the rest of us. What we should do about it, whether they are a net positive or a net negative, how we can stop it or limit it, should turn on many relevant factors.

    That some of them get drunk and kill people, like legal immigrants or citizens, is irrelevant to the debate.

    No it’s not.

    Part of the issue of illegal immigration is a population control issue. L.A. infrastructure isn’t designed to deal with this number of people.

    The country has the right to say we’re not accepting more people than we can deal with. And it has — but the executive won’t enforce the laws . . . because it will cost them too many votes.

    In that sense, we’ve already lost the battle.

    The harms the extra people bring aren’t irrelevant, because they’re not supposed to be here. And we always hear about the benefits the bring to the economy. What I want to see is discussion of the drawbacks too.

    Patterico (1079ed)

  37. Aplomb –

    Re: # 32. Ok. Let’s use this example then:

    Let’s say that a number of media stories crop up regarding outbreaks of TB in L.A. County. Do you think that it would be proper for the press to at least investigate a possible connection between TB and illegal immigration? That would be more analogous to the drunk driving scenario since nobody INTENDS to spread TB. Would you still hold that the background of the carriers is irrelevent? There is an anecdotal increase of DUI fatalities involving illegal aliens. But since the press often refuses to cover that angle, it is impossible to determine if there is a larger social issue that people need to be concerned about or not.

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  38. Bravo to aplomb for a bit of a retrenchment! As for the Texas v. California thing, you hear this quite a bit. I have even heard Newt Gingrich say it. But while there maybe more noise here — policy wise Texas is tougher.

    I’d tied Patterico’s analysis in with Justin’s. We hear literally all the time about the economic benefits and cultural benefits immigrants bring. Well, said benefits come at the price of increased population. And like aplomb says, increased population means more accidents and the like. The problem is that, as Justin says , the media rarely to never examine that negative side of the equation. Moreover, it may very well be that these incidents are disproportionate with immigrants; again we don’t know because as Justin says the media, the hospitals, the foundations, the police, literally don’t want to know. See Special Order 40.

    In my county, the small town of Costa Mesa had to fight tooth and nail to institute cooperation between their police and ICE. They ran the usual guantlet, not just of hispanic activists, but the big business community, particularly some very rich development interests. They have since instituted an immigration check for those being arrested, and are finding about 10% of arrestees are in the country illegally. This type of knowledge lets us size up costs and benefits

    We hear constantly from industry and their mouthpieces (LA Times editorial board, let’s say) that we need more workers. But of course they profit from those workers. But most costs we all pay — educating the children of immigrant workers, increased traffic ,ect . And in tragic situations like this, American individuals pay. Whoever employed Velazquez-Nava made some money off of him, but Robert Clark and his son paid the price.

    One more point. Velazquez Nava and Mora were both treated at UCLA — has anyone seen any reporting on how much that might have cost, and if they have medical insurance or if we are all paying.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  39. From your statement especially from comment 15. This is a standard response to that old despot argument for taking hostages for killing people – if you are not a native – you are free game

    When you decide that all killing drunk drivers should be deported after hefty prison sentences then we will have less drunk driving and less criminals of all status on the street

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  40. I’m curious about something, Mr. Patterico. If I could show that wealthy DUI defendants beat DUI raps at a greater rate than poor DUI defendants, would you argue that wealthy DUI defendants should be deported to Mexico or maybe Guatemala (since that’s a right-wing paradise) and stripped of citizenship?

    Since, according to your logic, such a practice would reduce the drunk driving deaths you are obviously so concerned about.

    It’s a fairly commonly held belief that the rich get out of DUI arrests through the intervention of highly-paid defense lawyers with good connections (see for instance, George Bush or Mel Gibson – both prominent conservatives, by the way! – or the ads in your local newspaper, which suggest DUI arrests can he handled, for a price). Does that mean it’s possible that the rich ultimately are involved in more subsequent DUI accidents than the poor – because they are back on the road more quickly? I don’t know! I’m just asking! Once again, dealing with a hypothetical here, IF one could show that the rich beat DUI raps with high frequency, would you support higher enforcement of DUI in wealthy neighborhoods?

    This is what Mr. Aplomb is getting at. Unless you can show that illegal immigrants commit DUI murders at higher rates than others, then what you have here is an emotional argument from one anecdote.

    Geraldo Rivera, in the clip you link to, says that illegal immigrants commit crimes at a rate lower than the rest of the population. I hadn’t heard that before, but there is a possible theory that would explain that – immigrants to the US, in particular, are here for economic reasons and drawing the attention of the police is the last thing such a person would want to do – that would quickly interrupt your income.

    You are arguing, as I understand it, that deaths which occur at the hands of drunk drivers are such an outrage that we should consider tougher immigration measures (or tougher enforcement of current laws – for the purposes of this discussion it doesn’t matter which) in order to reduce such deaths. Mr. Aplomb is pointing out (in his not-very-eloquent way) that the most efficacious way to reduce deaths at the hands of drunk drivers may not be by focusing on illegal immigration. It’s even possible that the most efficacious way to reduce drunk driving, and deaths caused as a result of drunk driving, would be to take expensive lawyers out of the process (since they put wealthy drunks back on the road at a high rate), and give a mandatory 5 year sentence to anyone with a positive breathalizer test. What do you think of this highly Patriot Act-style idea? Hey, maybe the President, since he’s intimately familiar with DUI, could publish a list every month of DUI-arrestees who had been declared enemy combatants! That would get them off the streets as fast as possible.

    Lastly, let it be said that screaming at the top of your lungs, like Bill O’Reilly, doesn’t, alas, make you the person who cares most about drunk driving deaths. In fact, it may be a good sign you are trying to use someone else’s tragic accident to flog your own political point of view. Not very nice. But that’s just an ad hominem argument. As Mr. Aplomb says, you still have to show that illegal immigrants cause DUI deaths at a higher rate than the general population for your argument to make any sense at all.

    Kindadukish (2dc102)

  41. Because he was here illegally, he didn’t have a license. Because he didn’t have a license, we know he was never tested on his driving ability. We have no way of knowing if he ever learned to drive properly in the US, or if indeed he knew traffic laws and road safety even when sober. He shouldn’t be here illegally, he shouldn’t be driving illegally, he shouldn’t be driving drunk.

    MayBee (eb1824)

  42. MayBee — Once again, your appeal to emotion is in the best Bush/Rove style. Congrats! You too can probably be a US Attorney one day (make sure those Federalist Society dues are up to date! and be sure to mention terrorism too!).

    However, the question is still: do illegal immigrants cause drunk driving deaths at a higher rate than the rest of the population? And is it therefore plausible that by deporting illegal immigrants upon the first offense of any sort we could reduce drunk driving deaths?

    And if you are gung-ho for that, then let’s really get in gear! I would add, are there any other statistical correlations between beating a DUI rap and causing a subsequent accident that are worth considering – such as being wealthy (and thus being able to hire one of those icky, evil, trial lawyers – we do hate that Breck girl, don’t we?) or being white, or being from a wealthy neighborhood, or what have you?

    Because we know that what conservatives are really outraged about is drunk driving deaths! And they will support any measures to stop drunk driving deaths! Right???

    Well, as long as those measures target illegal immigrants, sure…

    Kindadukish (2dc102)

  43. Kindadukish- Where did I appeal to emotion? I didn’t say, “oh a man and his son are dead because…”

    I don’t agree with you that the question is “do illegal immigrants cause drunk driving deaths at a higher rate…”
    I think the question is, should illegal aliens be in the country? Should illegal aliens be driving illegally? Should anyone be driving drunk? What happens when the three are combined?
    What I support is any encounter that an illegal alien has with a legal authority, he gets deported.
    I can tell you that although I am American, I am currently living legally in another country. However, if I were to be found driving without a valid license, I could be deported.
    There are some reports that people have been deported for driving with a legal license, but having a serious traffic violation.
    As for drunk driving, both the driver and any passengers will thrown in jail when the driver is above the legal limit.
    Do I support those laws in the US? Not necessarily. But I think the idea that illegal aliens are a protected class in the US, and should be able to drive without a license, is poor practical policy. I certainly think instances of it should be reported fully by NEWSpapers.

    MayBee (eb1824)

  44. It’s a fairly commonly held belief that the rich get out of DUI arrests…

    You should prove that if you want to make the comparison–but you can’t, because the statistic are not available, to my knowledge.

    No one is allowed to study this issue because it might suggest something unpleasant about illegals (or rich people) and that, in today’s parlance, constitutes racism.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  45. Every time I want to look into the rap sheets of these guys they have hyphenated names that make them hard to trace. Maybe that’s the point of the hyphenated names.

    Even checking every possible descrambling of Hector Manuel Velazquez-Nava might not locate him. There is a guy named Hector Manuel Navarro who in the Los Angeles County Jail. The age 24 matches the LA Times story. That is probably him.

    The guy probably has five different rap sheets using five different translations of his name which can’t be checked against each other.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  46. It’s possible that illegal immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate number of DUIs. It’s also possible that in this particular case the driver’s status had something to do with the accident, e.g., he saw the INS/ICE coming into the bar and sped away before sobering up. But failing this, the germaneness of immigration status is hard to see. Is it important to mention that the driver was a Roman Catholic?

    The truth is, both sides know just what’s going on here. It’s an attempt to take society’s contempt for and fear of drunk drivers, and slop it over onto illegal immigrants, from someone who thinks society needs to pay more attention to the enforcement of immigration laws.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (d79866)

  47. I’m extremely skeptical of Geraldo Rivera’s claim that illegal immigrants have a lower crime rate than Americans.

    Just check out the FBI’s list of people wanted for murder.

    The numbers, of which I’ll save you from having to count, are pretty telling. There are 29 Mexican nationals on the list, which represents 41%(!) of the total. I’ll speculate that a large majority of these people were not in the country legally when these crimes were committed. By comparison, *Americans* (whether immigrant or not), represent just 49% of the group, and there’s not even a SINGLE person on the list, by the way, who is a citizen of Canada, our other neighbor.

    On top of that, when you look at the occurrence on the list of people who are citizens of countries *other* than Mexico, you can see that they are vastly underrepresented. There are only 6 of them, which means that Mexico represents 83% of all foreign nationals on the list, while *all other countries on the planet combined* represent just 17%.

    Even if we were to be extra magnanimous and assume that all of the Mexican nationals on the list were legal and had valid green cards, the numbers would nevertheless be alarming. According to this data, 28% of legal immigrants to the U.S. came from Mexico in 2000, and 72% came from elsewhere. This would mean that the legal Mexican immigrants are becoming wanted-for-murder-by-the FBI at a rate that is on the order of TWELVE TIMES higher than that of the average non-Mexican immigrant. But that’s not likely a meaningful number anyways since it seems safe to assume that most, if not all, of the people on that list were/are here illegally.

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  48. Lazarus is exactly right. If the driver was wearing a red shirt, should we jail all people wearing red shirts? If you can show me that illegal immigrants cause drunk driving deaths at a higher rate than the legal population, then that’s interesting, and another good point in favor of strict enforcement of immigration laws (which I happen to favor regardless).

    And that’s also what a responsible newspaper would write about in a case like this – do illegal immigrants have higher rates of DUI, accidents, fatal accidents, etc.? Beating the drum for the local papers to play up the immigration status of the driver in one particular case is just scapegoating aimed at scoring cheap political points – not a particularly nice thing to do in a genuine tragedy.

    Geraldo Rivera’s point boils down to this: if indeed illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the general population, then strict enforcement of immigration laws could increase the crime rate.

    That’s not (necessarily) an argument in favor of illegal immigration, of course, but, if true, it means that those who claim that they favor strict enforcement of immigration laws in order to reduce crime (such as drunk driving deaths) are simply blowing smoke.

    You on the right want a more persuasive argument (to me) that reducing the illegal population will have positive side effects? Based purely on my observation driving around LA, my sense is that recent illegal immigrants are driving the worst-polluting cars. I suspect part of the reason for that is that they are not “in the system” and don’t get their cars smog checked, as the rest of us have to, in order to have valid registration. I’ll bet that purely from an actuarial point of view, that particular side effect of illegal immigration is causing more death through health complications than excess DUI cases caused by illegal immigration (if there are any).

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  49. “Lazarus is exactly right. If the driver was wearing a red shirt, should we jail all people wearing red shirts?”

    The analogy distorts the issue because it substitutes an innocent characteristic (wearing red shirts) for an illegal one (being an illegal immigrant).

    Are you telling me you were really unaware you were doing that??

    Patterico (16e350)

  50. Kindadukish,

    You mentioned that according to what you see driving around LA, illegal immigrants seem to drive the worst-polluting cars.

    If you were to look at this list would you draw any conclusions about illegal immigrants in LA and crime?

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  51. if indeed illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the general population, then strict enforcement of immigration laws could increase the crime rate.

    But there would still be an increase in the absolute number of crimes.

    Look, its pretty simple

    1) If Nava-Velazquez is not in this country illegally, American citizens Clark and Hanrath-Clark are still alive

    2) This is a *cost*. It is an externalized cost. Businesses claim they need more and more workers, more and more immigrants. Yes, they gain, and we all got to some extent by cheap labor. But the cost side is never tallied up. This is a particularly dramatic cost, and it should be pointed out.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  52. C’mon, Patterico, you’re trained in logic. I made the “red shirt” analogy specifically to emphasize the fact that being an illegal immigrant doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with drunk driving, just as wearing a red shirt doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with drunk driving.

    If being illegal is not an “innocent characteristic” as regards drunk driving, then you are arguing that being an illegal immigrant causes drunk driving, right? Have you got any statistics or a theory to back that up? If not, then getting upset about the driver in this particular case being illegal is just a rather cynical way of using someone else’s tragedy to push your political agenda.

    I’m not saying there’s no possible argument. Maybe there is – maybe illegals have higher levels of stress in their lives, and therefore drink more, and maybe their cars tend to be in worse condition, because they are poor, and therefore illegals have more mechanical breakdowns that lead to accidents. That’s possible. But YOU’VE got to make that argument (or at least some argument) to make your point.

    If you can’t show me that his being illegal helped cause the accident, then his being illegal is just as relevant as the color of his shirt.

    My college alumni magazine has a profile this month of a doctor who is the head of neurosurgery at a very big Boston hospital; this doctor entered the country illegally from South America in the early 80s and became legal in the 86 amnesty. Does his success mean we should allow more illegals into the country in order to increase the number of expert neurosurgeons?

    How is that argument any different from your argument that reducing the number of illegals will reduce the rate of DUI deaths?

    It’s logic, Patterico. Where’s the causal link?

    Chris – You’ve got a causal problem too. The fact that illegal immigrants tend to be poor, and that poor people tend to commit more crime, is not an argument against illegal immigrants, it’s an argument against having poor people, and that’s a road you conservatives don’t want to head down.

    Let’s say I showed you a collection of pictures of people who have stolen more than $10 million in bank, real estate and stock fraud. Guess what? Most of the people would be white, well-educated, upper class people. Let’s say I showed you a collection of pictures of doctors who had committed Medicare fraud. Guess what? Most of them would be wealthy U.S. citizens with high incomes (and you’d be surprised how many there are). Does all of this indicate something about well-educated, wealthy people, as a group?

    You’ve got to show that illegal immigrants commit crimes at a rate higher than other people who are similarly socially situated for your argument to be persuasive.

    I still think there’s a fairly persuasive counter-argument that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are here for economic reasons and that they tend to be very cautious about committing crimes in order to preserve their ability to make an income, send money back home, etc. That’s capitalism at work; you conservatives are supposed to be experts on that.

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  53. Wearing red shirts is not illegal.

    Wearing red shirts is not illegal.

    Wearing red shirts is not illegal.

    Patterico (57ba7d)

  54. That’s really a good argument Patterico.

    Again, the question is: how did this driver being illegal contribute to this accident?

    You are saying it is an outrage that the LA Times has not prominently mentioned that this accident was caused by someone who happened to be illegal. Why is the fact that he is illegal more important than the color of the shirt he was wearing? The job of any newspaper reporter is to report what was relevant in the event at hand. How is it relevant that the driver was illegal? What did it have to do with the accident? If the driver was legal, should the LA Times report that? Why not?

    Can I assume if you don’t propose a theory that you are admitting you have lost the argument?

    By the way, I was recalling the story about the neurosurgeon from memory. He is actually at Johns Hopkins, not in Boston. He attended Harvard Medical School.

    So if you can argue (without evidence or a theory, and just by taunting with childish repetition those who disagree with you) that reducing illegal immigration will reduce DUI deaths, does that mean I get to argue that reducing illegal immigration will reduce the number of brilliant neurosurgeons?

    Here’s a link on the surgeon:
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-te.surgeon29oct29,0,5266268.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  55. Tuesday Apr 3

    Arrest is made in fatal crash

    Bay City News

    The driver of a pickup truck that flipped and plowed into a tree early Sunday morning in Portola Valley, killing one passenger and critically injuring another, was arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing major injury and being an unlicensed driver, a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said Monday.

    Sheriff’s deputies, along with units from the Woodside and Menlo Park fire departments, responded to the crash at 1550 Portola Road at about 12:40 a.m. and found a white 1997 Ford pickup overturned and lodged against a tree, with its three occupants trapped inside.

    The crash killed 27-year-old Marco Hernandez-Lopez, of Portola Valley, who was found in the front passenger seat of the pickup and pronounced dead at the scene, Williams said.

    Emergency personnel had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate all three passengers, including the driver, Ignacio Hernandez-Flores, 27, of Portola Valley, and another passenger, who remains unidentified and is still listed in critical condition.

    Hernandez-Flores was treated for a fractured rib and a broken wrist

    http://www.paloaltodailynews.com/article/2007-4-3-04-03-07-bcn-55-portola-valley-arrest

    Enlightened (af3db1)

  56. Patterico, let’s finish this off once and for all. If the driver in a DUI is an income-tax cheat (maybe even one of those nutty tax protestors), do you think that’s an important thing to publicize? Even without any evidence that tax protestors are more likely to commit DUI? Or that this particular accident was caused by trying to outrun the IRS? After all, he is a criminal, like the illegal alien.

    It’s possible that illegal immigrants are indeed a major hazard on the roads, because they don’t get driver ed, or they’re used to being scofflaws, or they’re spawn of Satan. But until you make some showing about that, the immigration issue is being introduced for entirely prejudicial and inflammatory reasons, to get people more pissed off about non-enforcement of immigration law.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (d79866)

  57. Reading some of these posts is scary. What part of illegal don’t you people understand? Do you realize what these sanctuary cities offer these people…PURE ANARCHY for the few. The rest of us American Citizens don’t get those same privileges do we? This guy had been arrested previously- twice, Yes, it is a drunk driving issue but the bigger issue is these people get a pass all over the friggin’ country. Even if they get deported they walk right back in courtesy of George Bushs’ anarchistic policy. he should be impeached for refusing to do the job he was elected to do-Protect the country and it’s border and it’s citizens. If this were my child I would sue him!

    Mary (b3a2a0)

  58. It does matter if they are illegal. It means they most likely don’t have car insurance either. That means the victims families have no recourse, along with the fact their loved one was killed by someone that was flaunting US law.
    1)Illegally entering the country. 2) Illegally staying in the country. 3) Illegally driving in the country. 4)Illegally drinking in the country.

    Try that in Mexico. If it doesn’t fly there, why should it here?

    Enlightened (af3db1)

  59. The fact that illegal immigrants tend to be poor, and that poor people tend to commit more crime

    Uh…no. Poverty doesn’t cause crime…crime causes proverty.

    It’s the values, stupid.

    Darleen (eb120d)

  60. By the way ,those who think it is only a dyrunk driving issue irrespective of legalaity…I counted six stories in the past week of drunk aliens killing people…That’s in one week…and I’m sure if I spent time looking there are far more…WAKE UP DEPORT THEM -The Life you SAVE may be your OWN!!!

    Mary (b3a2a0)

  61. Mitchell Young –

    Illegals often take low-paying, dangerous jobs such as in construction with high rates of injury or death. As a result, in many cases illegals are injured or killed in situations where (if illegal immigration could be magically stopped) and American citizen would have been injured or killed.

    Should those costs to illegals be counted in your calculus?

    In fact, this is a worthwhile challenge to all of you arguing that the LA Times needs to emphasize that this driver was illegal: when a construction worker is killed in an accident, should the LA Times emphasize that the worker was illegal and therefore an American citizen’s life was saved?

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  62. Oh… BTW

    Each dui that walks into our misdemeanor pre-trial room…fancypants defense attorney as representative or no-english pro per … gets exactly the same plea deal.

    It’s funny…for all the thousands of $$$ “Top Gun” “friends don’t let friends plead guilty”, I have YET (9 years and running) see ONE of his firm’s boilerplate motions get any better a deal for someone with a BAC of .09 or above then what was initially offered.

    So, “Kindadukish”, how about some stats to back up your claim? I’ll offer my admittedly anecdotal experience against your “accepted wisdom” any old day.

    Darleen (eb120d)

  63. Kinda

    Care to source the last time a construction worker was killed on the job?

    Darleen (eb120d)

  64. Justin

    If you’re reading this, can you source/link the study Bill Handel talked about this morning re: drunkenness within the Hispanic community and how DUI’s are far far higher within that demographic than other demographics?

    Darleen (eb120d)

  65. Kindadukish,

    Yes, I think the paper should report when an illegal immigrant dies in a work-related accident. It’s tragic and I mourn the loss of that life, just as I would mourn the loss of an American citizen’s life. I also want the authorities to investigate how/why the employer hired an illegal immigrant.

    DRJ (d57665)

  66. Kindadukish,

    Does it really matter *why* illegal immigrants may have particular behavioral patterns (such as, say, gravitating towards the FBI’s wanted-for-murder list) when considering our immigration laws or enforcement of those laws?

    Are we supposed to have a different stance toward illegal immigration because illegal immigrants might have a valid reason to commit crime (however often they might do so)? Whether a tendency to commit crime is due simply to being poor, being brought up in a broken family, being a member of a society where crime is common, or whatever, it is still a tendency to commit crime. And tendency to commit crime is relevant to our decision about having people come into the country, isn’t it?

    And this analogy with rich white thieves and doctors committing Medicare fraud… are we discussing whether or not we want these people immigrating into the country? If so, I say let’s not let them in, regardless of the reasons they may have for doing what they did.

    If we want to do social welfare for other countries, that’s fine, but the best way to go about that is probably not to absorb criminal activity from those countries while just telling ourselves, hey, they’ve got a good reason to do that &#!*.

    This brings up another question about “causality”: why are they poor? And, are you even willing to “head down that road?”

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  67. Try this:

    Click on any state and see if any particular pattern jumps out at you.

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  68. If I or someone I love gets killed by a drunk driver, the least critical fact is the nationality or legal status of the driver.

    You know what? It DOES matter. It just adds a good dash of bitter irony to the tragedy. My mother and daughter were hit by an illegal alien drunk driver last August – New Orleans is overrun since Katrina – and while luckily neither was killed, my daughter required surgery and months of PT. There are two other people in my circle of acquaintances who have been hit by illegal alien drunk drivers in the last 18 months, and one is permanently disabled.

    Unless you can prove to me that God (or fate, if you like) decided somebody, somewhere, was predestined to get drunk and run into my family that night, then it could have been avoided by the illegal staying in his own country. Period.

    Now add to that the fact that illegals tend to not have insurance and can’t be held financially accountable – you’re basically on your own. So if you just have liability and not uninsured motorist, you’re screwed financially, just adding to your misery. The lady I know that was permanently disabled was 34 years old, had a decent career, but since she was fairly young had no life or disability insurance, and not much savings. She lost her house and is living in a tiny apartment on a small Social Security check.

    Illegality is not the least critical fact because it is inclusive of other law breaking like not having insurance and not having resources to compensate for what they did, and those things matter a great deal.

    Laura (087c0d)

  69. Chris –

    We’re talking statistics. You are saying the crime rate will be reduced if illegal immigration is reduced.

    I didn’t say illegals have a valid reason to commit a crime. I said it may be possible that illegals commit fewer crimes than the general population (that’s what Geraldo Rivera argues – I’d like to know his source). So reducing illegal immigration (which I’m in favor of, by the way, for all kinds of other reasons) is not necessarily the best way to reduce crime.

    Darleen — Here’s a Chicago Trib article on injuries and death among illegals. You’re not saying you think construction workers aren’t killed or injured in greater numbers than legal, white-collar office workers, are you? It took a 10 second Google search to find plenty of examples.

    http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/64/22378

    Darleen, I wasn’t seriously suggesting making some big DUI effort against the wealthy (please note, I said “I don’t know! Just asking!”). I was only making the point (by absurd exaggeration) that if you are really upset about DUI deaths and want to do something about it, there are better places to focus your energy than on illegals. Breathalizers in cars is a good place to start.

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  70. Kindadukish,

    Look at the links I’ve put up: FBI, LAPD, DEA. I think one can very readily see that there are certain and very strong trends with respect to nationality and immigration status in them. Those *are* statistics. They are not anecdotes, they are MOST WANTED lists. If the large number of illegal immigrants on those lists had not been in the country, our crime rate would have been, yes, lower.

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  71. Illegals often take low-paying, dangerous jobs such as in construction with high rates of injury or death. As a result, in many cases illegals are injured or killed in situations where (if illegal immigration could be magically stopped) and American citizen would have been injured or killed.

    Bad reasoning.

    From my reading on the meatpacking industry, it has been the ability of industry to hire illegals leads to faster line speeds and lower safety standards, the same probably holds true in construction. So we might actually see fewer accidents on construction sites, in meatpacking, and so on if there were more Americans in the industry.

    And more controversially, anyone who has been to Mexico knows that they take safety much less seriously than we do in the United States. There is no reason to believe that somehow crossing the border makes them more safety concious.

    The problem with your example of the brain surgeon is that that is all the stories we get. Either ‘shining example’ stories or sob stories. Well, to get a true picture of the costs and benefits of illegal immigration and of immigration in general, dramatic cost stories should receive as much attention as the ‘shining example’ stories.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  72. Hey Mitchell, thanks for agreeing with me!

    That was the very point of my pointing to that brain surgeon story. It isn’t very persuasive for me to therefore say – lots of illegals will become brain surgeons. Just like it isn’t very persuasive of you to say, because there was a drunk driving accident involving an illegal, therefore lots of illegals get involved in drunk driving accidents. It’s a logical fallacy. I’m really surprised there are so many lawyers in here buying into it.

    Everything, all of this, comes back to the argument made by Rivera: illegals commit fewer crimes than the general population. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. To argue with Rivera, you’ve got to show that it isn’t. No one has done that yet.

    (Chris, there are all kinds of problems with your argument, and I don’t have time to explain the principles of statistics to you to show you why. You’ve still got a bunch of anecdotes, nothing that is statistically relevant. But to take a different tack, let me just point out that the vast majority of the crimes and criminals you are pointing to on those websites are related to the illegal drug industry. Illegals dominate the drug industry for obvious reasons – like everybody they want to make a lot of money, but they can’t enter the legit economy. If you undertake a major effort to deport illegals, you are still going to have an illegal drug industry, and because the risk of being in that industry will go up, the reward will go up also. As the reward goes up, crime will increase as there is a battle over resources. Think about prohibition-era Chicago. Known for its peace and quiet? Do you think it is going to be easy to deport the hard core illegals you are worried about? They are still going to be there, running the drug business. You’re focusing on a side issue.)

    Kindadukish (f021b9)

  73. Just like it isn’t very persuasive of you to say, because there was a drunk driving accident involving an illegal, therefore lots of illegals get involved in drunk driving accidents

    First, I certainly wasn’t saying that, although a quick Google shows that there are in fact lots of illegals getting in drunk driving accidents. Many many more than become brain surgeons.

    Second, there is no denying this. Velazquez-Nava is not here, then Robert Clark is still alive. In the Tranchant case, the illegal alien had already been convicted of one DWI — he should definitely not been here.

    My point is that each and every one of these is a cost, a huge cost to the people involved, but also an economic cost. Clarks son would have contributed to this society, like maybe a million dollars over his lifetime. Now he is dead. That has to go on the cost of immigration ledger. Everytime you here that illegals contribute X amount to social security, you have subtract the costs they bring .

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  74. Kinda,

    I invite 20 people to my party. 10 other people crash it.

    1 of every 5 people spills drinks on the carpet.

    I expected 4 drinks spilled on the carpet, but got 6.

    I see the 4 spilled by the people I invited as the cost of throwing a party. But I am especially annoyed at the 2 drinks spilled by the goddamn people I didn’t even goddamn invite.

    I am especially galled because I hired a cleaning crew to clean up afterwards, but they agreed to clean up after only 4 spilled drinks. The other two cost extra.

    Now you come along and lecture me about how I am wrong to be more upset at them, because the 10 people I didn’t invite spilled drinks at the same rate as the people I invited. Plus, they contributed to the joy of the party.

    I don’t care. I didn’t invite them.

    You give me a bunch of crap about how people wearing red shirts still would have spilled drinks at the rate of 1 spilled drink per 5 guests.

    I don’t care. I didn’t invite them.

    Don’t you get it? I didn’t invite them. I didn’t invite them. I didn’t invite them.

    Patterico (212be0)

  75. Everything, all of this, comes back to the argument made by Rivera: illegals commit fewer crimes than the general population. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. To argue with Rivera, you’ve got to show that it isn’t. No one has done that yet.

    Again, this isn’t hard. Every single crime an illegal commits is an extra crime that should not have happened here. Its pretty irrelevant whether they commit fewer crimes or not than the general population per capita

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  76. That’s a real good analogy — still doubt that kindaduckish will get it. Its really really hard to reason with people on immigration, legal or otherwise.

    Mitchell Young (8d425f)

  77. Look at the links I’ve put up: FBI, LAPD, DEA.

    If you live in CA, look up the most wanted in your suburb and you will be surprised, I’m sure. I sure was, in my OC suburb–all Hispanic.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  78. Kindadukish,

    I know enough about statistics to know that you are utterly full of it.

    The data:

    The FBI list is for murder . The LAPD list is for all serious crimes, but most who are on it are wanted for murder or violent assault. And no, these are not anecdotes, unless you believe that the FBI and LAPD specifically target illegal immigrants for investigation of serious crime while disregarding the same crimes when committed by citizens and legal residents. Actually, due to the ubiquity of identity fraud among illegal immigrants and the proximity of a nearby safe-haven (in the form of the country of Mexico) one could argue that it is easier for an illegal to evade identification by either the FBI or LAPD after committing a crime. This would render their representation on these most-wanted lists lower than it would otherwise be.

    The analysis:

    Since illegal immigrants are vastly overrepresented on those lists, and illegal immigrants represent a significant fraction of the population of both Los Angeles and the country as a whole, eliminating illegal immigration would have a significant effect on crimes of those types in the city and in the country. As for your scenario about the drug trade, it might hold some small amount of water, but again, that’s only for drug-related offenses. Murder and rape don’t follow any rules of supply and demand, pal.

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  79. Patterico,

    So you’d be more upset if an illegal alien rather than a US citizen killed your daughter by wreckless drunk driving? Personally, I’d be terribly upset either way. I don’t think that I could continue living a normal life if my daughter’s life was stolen, period. Sounds to me that you’ve forgotten the main point of this story. Tessa Tranchant and Allison Kuhnhardt lost their lives in a drunk driving car accident. That should be the outrage and the sadness.

    Da Bombz Diggity (e1bfb4)

  80. Da Bombz,

    Read comment 68.

    Patterico (56f4d0)

  81. Again, this isn’t hard. Every single crime an illegal commits is an extra crime that should not have happened here. Its pretty irrelevant whether they commit fewer crimes or not than the general population per capita

    But this holds just as much for tax protesters that we don’t catch. Or jaywalkers. It doesn’t make us safer as a society as a whole unless illegals contribute out of proportion to their presence (which, I might add, is plausible, but the anti-immigration forces on this thread are too caught up in something weird to prove).

    If we drowned Jewish babies in the Nile, Andrew Fastow wouldn’t have been able to cook the books at Enron. Somehow I suspect that in this formulation, your reasoning doesn’t look as good.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (e0b387)

  82. I would add to my comment #68 – in the case of the two girls, yes, they’re gone and nothing can change that. But the average funeral is about 10k, so the families are almost certainly out of pocket for that (few people get life insurance for their teenager) and if there was insurance, at least the families would have some comfort by creating a scholarship fund or some charity in their daughter’s names with the money from any settlement or lawsuit. It doesn’t replace the person, obviously, but it is at least a little solace to know that your loved one’s name lives on in some way.

    Laura (087c0d)

  83. “There’s a media circus right now and everyone has their opinion, but the fact is our kids were killed,” said Colette, “Right now we need time to grieve, we need time to figure this out and we would like laws enforced.”

    Now they hope the media frenzy will put pressure on the right people to effect change, sparing others from their pain.

    Sounds about right, thanks for the link Da Bombz.

    Laura (087c0d)

  84. We have stop lights and not barriers at intersections because most people obey the laws and rules of a society. It’s called socialization and derives from their perceived stake in that society. The presence of a group which is essentially a criminal sub-culture, whose mere existence is the result of their flouting society’s laws, whose stake in society is no more than a hand-to-mouth existence, is like nails scattered along a freeway. For those fortunate enough not to run over them they may as well not exist but for those who do run over them the results are tragic.

    nk (306f5a)

  85. Who invited who? Did the Native Americans invite the early Europeans? The alcohol problem is one that should clearly be looked at.European settlers traded the same ‘fire water’ alcohol to the Native Americans..its part of the American Dream.

    Keith Burnett (84ab88)

  86. Da Bombz,

    I think I would feel the same as the family in their shoes. I’d want the laws enforced but would be bothered by all the public discussion so soon after the deaths.

    Unfortunately, that’s how it works with public discourse. If people are killed in Iraq, you aren’t going to wait a week to discuss the implications for policy.

    Lazarus,

    Deal with my hypo in 74 rather than making your argument as if I had never made that comment.

    In fact, I may make it into a post.

    Patterico (39a234)

  87. Guilt by DNA. Gotta love it Keith!

    Chris (f6ecc4)

  88. Everything, all of this, comes back to the argument made by Rivera: illegals commit fewer crimes than the general population. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. To argue with Rivera, you’ve got to show that it isn’t. No one has done that yet.

    Illegal aliens have a 100% rate of some criminality. If they hadn’t violated the law, they wouldn’t be illegals.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  89. Patterico,

    Your comment is well taken. But, I think that there is a misdirection of the outrage to this man’s illegal immigrant status. The real issue is why isn’t it a felony to be caught driving drunk?

    Geraldo: One time he was a drunk driver with no victims.

    O’Reilly: He should’ve been deported the first time and he was not. And the reason he wasn’t deported…

    Geraldo: …was because he didn’t commit a felony.

    O’Reilly: And it doesn’t make any difference.

    Geraldo: And, he didn’t commit a misdemeanor, he didn’t commit a misdemeanor having to do with moral (unintelligible).

    Later on…

    Geraldo: My nightmare is my daughters having anything to do with a person driving drunk, that’s my nightmare. It could be a Jewish drunk, it could be a Polish drunk, it could be an Irish drunk, it could be an Italian drunk. What the hell difference does it make?

    I understand where your philosophy regarding this issue comes from, but I ask that you consider the real issue. Our laws concerning alcohol and driving are entirely too lax. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, did a story on this in their magazine, the American Scientist. The article also discusses the various reasons why it is commonly believed that alcohol is harmless, even though it is highly toxic. It explains that death by alcohol overdoses are underreported in the media. In fact, the article explains that alcohol is a drug that has a higher toxicity than even marijuana.

    When will society make tougher laws against drunk driving?

    Da Bombz Diggity (e1bfb4)

  90. Given that it takes 4 standard DUIs to get you to a felony in California, I have no argument with you, Da Bombz.

    But, only deportation would have made a difference in this case.

    Patterico (7849b0)

  91. It’s laughable that people equate illegal aliens with drunk driving. The vast majority of drunk drivers are citizens of our country, but when an illegal alien gets drunk and causes an accident people blow it out of proportion and use the incident to imply that all (or at least the majority of) illegal aliens are drunk troublemakers. Ignorance and racism at its finest.

    TrojanGuy (0680ff)

  92. […] comments to Justin Levine’s post about people killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver, a few leftists are arguing that the […]

    Headline Summaries: Border Security at Traction Control (2d8ea5)

  93. It is really stupid to compare such things as illegal immigration to drunk driving, was his person drunk when they wrote this?

    jessica (7bab9d)

  94. […] while the “ethnic other” have to constantly face an angry crowd from the right wing media and xenophobic anti-immigration nativists demanding their deportation for similar type of offenses as Paris […]

    » The Racist Heiress America Loves and Hate and Our Criminal Justice System - By ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! (0721dd)

  95. […] the “ethnic other” have to constantly face an angry crowd amongst the right-wing media and xenophobic anti-immigration nativists demanding their deportation for similar type of offenses as Paris Hilton […]

    The hotel heiress America loves and hates and our criminal justice system « Scholars and Rogues (bce14d)

  96. All persons convicted of more than 2 DUIs should be deported. They willingly put themselves and others in danger by drinking and driving. They don’t affect their lives but other’s as well. Deport them!

    Anon (156e19)

  97. The basic problem is America’s flawed immigration policies. For centuries, America’s racist immigration policies freely allowed — even encouraged — anyone from Western Europe to settle here, with no restrictions and no waiting periods whatsoever. During that same era of mass European immigration, this country denied the immigration of nearly all other of the world’s peoples — especially non-whites. The purpose of this experiment in racism was to “stock” this land with people of Western European heritage. This outrage extended until 1965, when a balanced immigration policy was finally emplaced. Racist America now expects Mexican immigrant wannabes — most of whom are part Native American and certainly have more of a right to be here than anyone of “European extraction,” like Patterico — to wait for up to 12 years to be granted “legal” immigration status. Yeah, right. Americans expect them to respect such an absurdity, even after our war of naked aggression with Mexico, when we stole nearly half of their country following our forcing them to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

    I myself am a native American, and believe me, my people never gave any of those European immigrants permission to immigrate to our land. That makes them and their ancestors “illegal aliens,” right? Or, as they like to call the Mexicans, “wetbacks”? When Patterico can show me his papers that were signed by my people, giving him and his people permission to settle here, then I will accept his “legal status.” Until then, I will consider him and all other European-descended people to be “illegal aliens.”

    originalinhabitant (d671ab)

  98. […] the “ethnic other” have to constantly face an angry crowd amongst the right-wing media and xenophobic anti-immigration nativists demanding their deportation for similar type of offenses as Paris Hilton […]

    Scholars and Rogues » Blog Archive » The hotel heiress America loves and hates and our criminal justice system (5328e9)

  99. Hi everyone, i charles wishing goodluck one and all of this community, have a nice day, thank u
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    charles
    California Dui

    charlesrichard (ef6398)


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