Patterico's Pontifications

4/23/2019

Reasons to Question the Belief That Illegal Immigrants Are Less Criminal Than Citizens

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 pm



We often hear that illegals commit fewer crimes per capita. Our betters in the media tell us this all the time. The issue is relevant to the immigration question in general, and specifically to Trump’s dopey proposal to send illegals to sanctuary cities (which I have argued endangers the public because the criminal part of that population is more likely to evade deportation). I thought it would be worth devoting a post to questioning some of the flawed reasoning underpinning this claim.

Before I start, let me point out that none of the arguments I advance below depends upon a bigoted view of Mexicans or Central Americans as inferior or naturally prone to crime — views that I do not hold. If you’re among the subset of Trumpists who subscribes to that view, or if you’re a leftist looking for a way to call a conservative racist, move on. You’ll find nothing here to support your nasty preconceptions.

A 2017 Heritage article says:

According to a recent Associated Press article, “multiple studies have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born U.S. citizens.” But the issue isn’t non-citizens who are in this country legally, and who must abide by the law to avoid having their visas revoked or their application for citizenship refused. The real issue is the crimes committed by illegal aliens. And in that context, the claim is quite misleading, because the “multiple studies” on crimes committed by “immigrants” — including a 2014 study by a professor from the University of Massachusetts, which is the only one cited in the article — combine the crime rates of both citizens and non-citizens, legal and illegal.

That isn’t the only problem with the study. Instead of using official crime data, it uses “self-reported criminal offending and country of birth information.” For obvious reasons, there is little incentive for anyone, let alone criminal aliens, to self-report “delinquent and criminal involvement.” When it comes to self-reporting criminal activity, some respondents will, no doubt, exaggerate. Others will flat out lie. Furthermore, many respondents will likely not disclose if they are a non-citizen out of fear of discovery and deportation.

(Incidentally, Cato, a libertarian outfit of the stripe that prefers open borders to make the businessmen happy, argues that illegals commit less crime but admits that much of the applicable research “combines legal and illegal immigrants to calculate a crime rate for all immigrants.”)

The Heritage piece goes on to cite some “disturbing actual data on crimes committed by criminal aliens” that tends to undercut the conventional wisdom. First, we learn that a GAO report revealed that “criminal aliens (both legal and illegal) make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners” despite making up only about “nine percent of the nation’s adult population.” That certainly seems inconsistent with the claims that they commit fewer crimes than natives. Indeed, the Heritage piece adds: “One 2001 study that does take country of origin and geographic concentration factors into account found that Mexican immigrants ‘commit between 3.5 and 5 times as many crimes as the average native.’”

And if you think this is a small problem, think again. Another GAO report set forth some of the statistics of the total numbers of crimes we are looking at — crimes committed by people who, under our law, don’t belong here in the first place. This GAO report

looked at the criminal histories of 55,322 aliens that “entered the country illegally and were still illegally in the country at the time of their incarceration in federal or state prison or local jail during fiscal year 2003.” Those 55,322 illegal aliens had been arrested 459,614 times, an average of 8.3 arrests per illegal alien, and had committed almost 700,000 criminal offenses, an average of roughly 12.7 offenses per illegal alien.

Out of all of the arrests, 12 percent were for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, assault and sex-related crimes; 15 percent were for burglary, larceny, theft and property damage; 24 percent were for drug offenses; and the remaining offenses were for DUI, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, weapons, immigration, and obstruction of justice.

That is a lot of unnecessary crime.

Now, for some of my own analysis. To the extent that there remain any valid statistics or studies out there that do show illegal immigrants commit less crime — and perhaps there are — I believe that is a simple function of the fact that we have the ability to deport repeat offenders. Let me go through the logic.

First of all, much crime is committed by repeat offenders. Assume we have two hypothetical groups, A (citizens) and B (illegals). Assume for the same of argument that both groups are composed of the same mix of people with the same characteristics, including the same tendency towards criminality. (As we will see later, the groups are different demographically in terms of age and gender, but for now we are going to assume they are the same.) Also assume that all criminal offenders from group A (citizens) who are sent to jail or prison are returned to the streets once released from custody. Further assume that most criminal offenders from group B (illegals) who are sent to jail or prison are sent out of the country once their sentences are served.

Over a period of years, who will commit fewer crimes in the country: group A (citizens) or group B (illegals)? Likely, in our hypothetical, both will commit equal numbers of crimes overall in the world at large, since we have described the groups as being roughly equal in terms of their tendency to commit crime, for purposes of this (counterfactual) hypothetical. But group B, the group of illegals, will be committing fewer crimes in this country, since they are deported after committing their first crime that gets them incarcerated.

So when you measure the statistics of crimes committed by group A (citizens) and group B (illegals), it will appear that group B is safer overall.

But this is true only as long as you maintain the status quo, and refuse to grant legal status to illegals, and continue to deport them when they commit crimes — at least, as long as sanctuary city and sanctuary state policies are repealed or outlawed, and the machinery of deporting criminals works efficiently. As long as we can deport criminals, there will be a mechanism that tends make the illegals appear less criminal than they are innately.

But the second you start to use that “fact” to justify legalizing illegals and treating them as citizens — because hey, they commit fewer crimes than citizens! they are more desirable! — then the statistics will soon equalize again. Because once you make the illegals into citizens, you will no longer be able to deport the criminals once they get to jail.

As far as I know, any argument that says “illegals commit fewer crimes” fails to take this differential into account.

Further complicating the picture is that the demographics, in terms of gender and age, are actually quite different between citizens and illegals. National Affairs reports that illegal immigrants tend to be younger and more male:

However long they have been here, the undocumented are strikingly young. Pew reports that the median age of undocumented adults is 36.2, compared to 46.1 for legal-immigrant adults and 46.5 for native-born American adults. These numbers reflect the fact that the many risks associated with illegal status — travel through dangerous terrain, larcenous smugglers, unscrupulous employers — are more easily negotiated by the young, and particularly by young men. This is one reason why men significantly outnumber women among the illegal-immigrant population: Of the undocumented immigrants over the age of 18 currently residing in the U.S., there are approximately 5.8 million males, compared to 4.2 million females.

The age and gender profiles of the undocumented translate into a large cohort of young, unattached males — with no spouses, partners, or children, at least in this country. According to Pew, nearly half of illegal-immigrant men are “unpartnered adults without children,” while fewer than one-fifth of illegal-immigrant women are.

Most people are aware that young men commit more crimes on average than people who are not young men. So, given the higher prevalence of young men in the illegal immigrant population, you don’t have to conclude that there is anything bad or inferior about Latinos to conclude that they are more likely to commit crimes.

So I’m not convinced that the folks coming here illegally from Mexico and Central America are innately predisposed to commit less crime than citizens. There are some statistics going either way, and their large demographic cohort of young males tends to support the statistics that suggest they commit more crime. To the extent that the statistics or studies favor the proposition that they commit fewer crimes, some part of that is a function of the fact that they remain illegal and that we retain the ability to deport them after they commit crimes.

That is not an argument that we should legalize them. Moreover, it makes sanctuary city policies especially dangerous — because if the population contains more criminals, it’s that much more important for immigration officials to have access to them in custodial facilities and immediately after they are released.

Trump’s dopey proposed policy makes more illegals subject to these policies, not fewer. And the mayors of the sanctuary cities aren’t deterred. Many of them say they welcome more illegals to their cities.

So to the extent you’re relying on the notion that illegals commit less crime to support (or oppose) Trump’s policy, there’s good reason to question that assumption.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

75 Responses to “Reasons to Question the Belief That Illegal Immigrants Are Less Criminal Than Citizens”

  1. I’m resigned to the fact that most people will treat this comments section as nothing more than an open thread to opine on Trump’s policy, often in ways that show they have not even tried to process the points I have made in this post. I’m working on not caring about the fact that people largely ignore what I write here.

    But if anyone does care to actually grapple with the points I have made, I promise to try to give your comments special attention. You’re probably the only people I will talk to in this thread, other than perhaps to occasionally tell people that they would find the answer to their question answered, or they would find their argument refuted, if only they had bothered to actually read the post they are commenting on.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Young, male, novelty-seeking, non-risk adverse, poor, un-moored from family and social responsibilities. That’s a pretty good profile for potential criminals everywhere.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Cato wants open borders (in reality, liberal* laws that recognize immigration is a good thing) because if you want small government, you want a government that interferes with freedom of movement as little as possible.

    *liberal in the sense of generous and open, not in the sense of modern leftist.

    Kishnevi (a321ca)

  4. Because once you make the illegals into citizens, you will no longer be able to deport the criminals once they get to jail.

    I will throw the flag here on that play.

    Giving illegal immigrants legal status. They don’t turn into undeportable citizens. They turn into deportable legal resident aliens.

    First, we learn that a GAO report revealed that “criminal aliens (both legal and illegal) make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners” despite making up only about “nine percent of the nation’s adult population.

    Federal prisoners is not necessarily a good measure of all criminals. It won’t include burglars and car thieves, for instance. And a higher proportion of immigrants may simply reflect the probability that illegal immigrants may not be able to access higher quality legal defense.

    Kishnevi (a321ca)

  5. Giving illegal immigrants legal status. They don’t turn into undeportable citizens. They turn into deportable legal resident aliens.

    Then they turn into undeportable citizens. That’s where any movement like that is headed.

    Federal prisoners is not necessarily a good measure of all criminals. It won’t include burglars and car thieves, for instance. And a higher proportion of immigrants may simply reflect the probability that illegal immigrants may not be able to access higher quality legal defense.

    You’re reaching. Plenty of citizens are poor too. And public defenders do a good job, often better than private lawyers.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. And a higher proportion of immigrants may simply reflect the probability that illegal immigrants may not be able to access higher quality legal defense.

    Or that instead of diverting a truckload of beer in a Trans Am with Sally Field, they’re importing a load of cocaine in a Porsche 928 with Michelle Pfeiffer?

    nk (dbc370)

  7. I will grant you the percentage that are only gun crimes that would not be crimes for citizens and legal resident aliens.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Then they turn into undeportable citizens. That’s where any movement like that is headed.

    By that logic, we should never naturalize immigrants, lest sometime in the future they commit a crime.

    Kishnevi (a321ca)

  9. There are questions about the GAO report.

    While this might seem to add credence to Trump’s claim, the GAO data does not represent the number of unique individuals because a person could be incarcerated multiple times within one or more districts. Additionally, the report admits there are no fully reliable sources for state and local incarcerated populations.
    It’s also worth noting that in fiscal year 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported just under 178,000 illegal immigrants convicted of a crime, about 56 percent of all deportations. This is similar to previous years. So in Trump’s defense is the fact that there might be, at any given point, more than 100,000 immigrants in the United States convicted of a crime.
    The fact that many immigrants are detained for immigration violations awaiting deportation — as opposed to committing some other type of crime — makes incarceration statistics hard to evaluate, said Mary Waters, a sociology professor at Harvard University. The GAO study found that immigration violations were the most frequent offense leading to detention, followed by drug and traffic violations.

    In a more recent report, most of the research disputes Trump’s claim that illegals contribute to higher crime rates. The one exception is John Lott’s study, but there are serious factual issues with his work.
    This isn’t really intended to contradict what you said, but the point is that good data is hard to come by, and Trump isn’t helping by spouting off dubious “facts”. I guess the point is that it’s unclear if sending illegals to sanctuary cities will make those cities more dangerous. If you go by Trump’s statements, this president is immorally contributing to that very thing. But I don’t go by Trump’s assertions because most of them are coming out of his a$$. I’m more concerned that liberalized policing in those cities would contribute to a more dangerous environment than an influx of illegals. I know that’s the case in Seattle.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  10. I’ll restrict the following to Mexico and Central America, since the perversity of current immigration law falls heaviest here. (Canada has a special deal.)

    Legal immigrants from Mexico are ALL related to previous immigrants that presumably have succeeded in America to some extent. Some may be young men, but it’s far more likely they are older family members and their children. Due to the quota system and priorities among applicants, unrelated job seekers (mostly men) seldom qualify for a quota slot. In any event they come here with a ready-made foothold.

    Illegal immigrants, are mostly young men and women, ages late teens to early 30s, and more men than women. The vast majority came seeking work. Not all find it, and the laws make working here difficult (and illegal) for them. Those that DO find a living and settle, marry, have kids, avoid arrests, etc, will gradually approach the stability of the legal immigrants. Which suggests that the real problems are with young desperate men who have absolutely no connection to our country.

    The different dynamics here are pretty obvious. Single young men without work are tempted to theft and underground activities, and don;t have the same concern about risks that older, or married, people have. Here the illegals are far more likely to commit crimes.

    This says little about the illegals themselves, but about the unintended(?) consequences of immigration law. If those same young people came legally, were able to work legally, and had their immigration status to protect they would likely be less criminal than the same cohort of Americans who do not worry about the threat of deportation, and certainly be less criminal than the same cohort of illegals.

    Now, what can you say about the new group — the family that LEGALLY enters asking for asylum (a way around the quota system)? Unless they fail to show at their asylum hearing, they remain legal and have the right to work to support themselves. If they succeed at their hearing (not everyone is lying), they become legal immigrants but do not have the same social underpinnings that traditional legal immigrants have. It would seem that there might be some additional criminality, but having a family and legal status they really want to protect, it would be nowhere near that of the traditional illegals.

    What does this all mean? Given the laws, the demographics and the lack of opportunity that illegal immigrants have there will be significantly higher crime among them, and nearly all of that will be among recent arrivals.

    What happens with enforcement? Bureaucracies are uniformly lazy and stupid. The people that ICE they should be hunting to deport are the young men cadging a living in the shadows. The people they can more easily find are the people who are working and supporting their families at normal, fixed jobs.

    In reaction to this, you get the sanctuary movement. This does protect the long-term productive “illegal”, but it does so at the cost of pretending that those young single men don’t commit crimes. As I said, bureaucracies are lazy and stupid, and that goes for cities, too.

    Solution:

    1) Make localities and states liable for crimes committed by any illegal that they have protected from deportation, with an automatic punititive factor of 7.

    2) Reform our system to allow legal entry to more people from nearby countries, in more diverse situations, and far less from places with alien cultures. There is a lot of reasons to allow more immigration from Mexico and Central America, and nothing I can think of regarding Arabia or parts of Africa.

    3) Then, and only then, start a process of normalization for the long-term illegals, which gives them legal status but no citizenship rights. Preferably by amendment.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. Amendment: No person, having entered the United States unlawfully, maybe be granted citizenship.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  12. *argh*

    Amendment: No person, having entered the United States unlawfully, may be granted citizenship.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  13. Any immigration agreement with Mexico should give Americans significant additional rights in Mexico, such as the right to own property anywhere in Mexico and to be treated as equals under Mexican law.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  14. BTW, are the Governor of California and the mayors of LS and SF conspiring to harbor fugitive illegals in defiance of federal law? It’s one thing to refuse to help ICE, it’s quite another to actively work against them.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  15. * LA and SF

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  16. Patrick makes a lot of good points.

    In addition to gender and age, obviously income and education levels (where illegal immigrants are well below the population average) are also correlated with criminality.

    Dave (1bb933)

  17. In 2006 my car was rear ended by an illegal alien. Who will pay for repairs to my car?

    The daughter of members of my church was killed by an illegal alien DUI. Will somebody resurrect her so that her parents will have a daughter again?

    Wasn’t the illegal alien who murdered officer Ronil Singh deported eight times? Officer Ronil Singh’s wife no longer has a husband and his children no longer have a father. Can he be resurrected so that his wife can have a husband and his children can have a father?

    While I happen to agree with Patrick’s conclusions, I also believe that many will argue against him. I don’t believe the percentage of illegal alien criminals is that important regarding open borders or making illegal aliens illegal . The issue to me is in each of the three crimes I reported above if that particular illegal alien had not been in the United States, that crime would not have been committed.

    Patrick used to have a series called Deport the Criminals First which documented crimes by illegal aliens. I’d like to see that series come back.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  18. Dont do the crime if you can’t do the time.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. “Because once you make the illegals into citizens, you will no longer be able to deport the criminals once they get to jail.”

    Absolutely spot on. Unassailable logic. Great post, Mr. Patterico.

    Munroe (ce0dd5)

  20. The Open Borders nitwits have already won if we’re discussing Trump’s dopey policy, where to place criminal illegals so they do the least amount of damage etc. and not securing the borders and deporting all illegals.

    “Any immigration agreement with Mexico should give Americans significant additional rights in Mexico, such as the right to own property anywhere in Mexico and to be treated as equals under Mexican law.”

    Amen. I’ve often used as a retort to someone spouting off on how cruel the US is on illegals “ok let’s treat them the way Mexico does”.

    harkin (a741df)

  21. We don’t have the will to stop illegal immigration. If we did, we would treat it as an invasion, and summarily shoot every military aged male crossing the border, and hang their carcass on any existing fence, or leave it for the vultures and coyotes. Of course if we did that, the Left, media, and RINO wussies would go apes**t.

    We’d also seize remittances under asset forfeiture laws

    Short of that, it’s all kabuki theater

    Horatio (c91cf7)

  22. Then they turn into undeportable citizens. That’s where any movement like that is headed.

    By that logic, we should never naturalize immigrants, lest sometime in the future they commit a crime.

    Kishnevi (a321ca) — 4/23/2019 @ 9:49 pm

    People who have already committed a crime to get here are more likely to commit another crime than people who went to the time, expense and efgort to emigrate legally.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. I also agree with 17. Crimes by illegals are avoidable crimes. Crimes by natives aren’t.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. This Texas Report supports Tanny’s comment and Patterico’s point that we should be able to avoid most illegal immigrant crime:

    These figures do not attempt to allege that foreign nationals in the country illegally commit more crimes than other groups. It simply identifies thousands of crimes that should not have occurred and thousands of victims that should not have been victimized because the perpetrator should not be here. It is also important to note that these figures represent the minimum number of crimes associated with criminal illegal aliens …

    In Texas, illegal immigrants commit a lot of crimes including violent crimes.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. “criminal aliens (both legal and illegal) make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners” despite making up only about “nine percent of the nation’s adult population.” You’re talking federal prisoners, wh amount to only about 10% of all incarcerted people, and a lot of that is immigration related offenses (as should be expected)

    It’s mostly illegal entry and illegal entry after removal.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/us/undocumented-immigrants-crimes.html

    “The report proves one thin and one thing only: The administration will take any opportunity possible to twist facts to demonize immigrants,” said Tom Jawetz, the vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. “The vast majority of immigrants in federal prison are there for crimes that only immigrants can be charged with – illegal entry and illegal entry after removal. When you cook the books you shouldn’t pretend to be surprised by the results.”

    …[S}enior administration officials…pointed to data from the United States Sentencing ommission, which they said indicated that noncitizens were convicted of offfenses related to immigration, money laundering and drugs at a disproportionate rate along the southern border. Drug-related prosecutions tend to cluster there becaus of trafficking activity involving the Mexican cartels.

    This is like talking about the number of juveniles in prison and including truancy.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  26. The Heritage Foundation is an extremely biased source on immigation, that knows how to lie with statistics.

    That said, the oher side of the argument also tilts things.

    Assume we have two hypothetical groups, A (citizens) and B (illegals). Assume for the same of argument that both groups are composed of the same mix of people with the same characteristics, including the same tendency towards criminality.

    That’s like assuming that you have a million dollars. It’s not like that.

    The population of citizens can be divided into many different subgroups. The worst subgroup is people who attended failing urban public schools, who have no non-pathological family background.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  27. Ah, a post on immigration! Perhaps now we’ll get a chance to see our host’s penchant for really giving it to both sides for their individual parts in this failure…

    “most people will treat this comments section as nothing more than an open thread to opine on Trump’s policy”

    Ctrl-f ‘Congress’ 0 results found
    Ctrl-f ‘Cartel’ 0 results found
    Ctrl-f ‘judge’ 0 results found
    Ctrl-f ‘bribe’ 0 results found
    Ctrl-f ‘ICE’ 0 results found
    Ctrl-f ‘funding’ 0 results found

    Ctrl-f ‘Trump’ 4 results found, all disparaging his policy of sanctuary city dumping made specifically because Congress reduced the funding for ICE, no doubt at least in part due to massive bribe campaigns from the cartels to legislators and judges.

    This is why we can Always Trust Content From NeverTrumpers(TM), their ability to laser-focus right on the issues that matter, never getting distracted by hate campaigns or personal vendettas!

    (In all fairness, I do have to award a full point for the “open borders to make the businessmen happy” line, at least. But there’s not really a whole lot of force behind it.)

    Ethical Drug Mule (197bc6)

  28. . It simply identifies thousands of crimes that should not have occurred and thousands of victims that should not have been victimized because the perpetrator should not be here. I

    Do you think there would have been no victims otherwise?

    They were victims of crimes that Americans did not want to be victims of.

    I bet the Texas study identfies more illegal immigrant victims than criminals, and victimized by American citizens, too …

    DRJ: Crimes by illegals are avoidable crimes. Crimes by natives aren’t.

    And if we made more people illegal, like by revoking birthrght citizenship, there’d be even more crime that would be “avoidable.” This is an idea that is anti-human. The more humans, the more crie.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  29. For the amount of time and treasure that we spend on law enforcement, we don’t seem to be getting a decent return on measuring the degree and/or characteristics of crime in the USA. Legislative actions, such as prohibiting federal funding for studies of crimes involving firearms, aren’t helping.

    Admittedly, gathering statistics is not a headline-grabbing activity, but the absence of reliable measurements leads to policies that are either draconian (mass incarceration and deportation) or head-in-the-sand (sanctuary cities).

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  30. Sammy,

    Do you think there would have been no victims otherwise?

    Of course not. You always have a crime because of the evil in peoples hearts. If an illegal alien is not in the United States who had committed a crime, he would not be able to commit that crime in the United States. Therefore crime in the United States will be reduced.

    Will you pay for my car repairs?

    Are you able to resurrect the daughter of the people from my church who was killed by an illegal alien DUI?

    Are you able to resurrect Ronil Singh so that his wife can have a husband and his children can have a father?

    None of those crimes would’ve happened if none of those illegal aliens, one who was deported 8 times, were in the United States.

    Where is the compassion for victims of illegal alien crime in the United States?

    Tanny O'Haley (e2f09b)

  31. 31. I am talking about the Ameircan citizens who committed crimes against the illegal immigrants. which I mistakenly thouht the Texas Report also talked about that.

    The victims that should not have been victimized because they – the victims – should not be here.

    This is from 11 years ago plus, but yu get the idea.

    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2007/12/30/fruitvale-calls-for-help-on-crime

    Robbery of day laborers is another crime trend that has emerged in the Fruitvale. Because day laborers often carry cash, gangs prey on them as “human ATMs.”

    On the streets, robbing day laborers also is called “amigo bashing.”

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  32. Some “asylum” families are criminal families. Word has been out for a long time now that the US system of help for the needy can be exploited. Food and rent are handled and criminal activities can pay for the incidentals.
    Mexican people here illegally know to exploit the “anchor baby” loopholes to get some of those same services.
    In these instances, the illegal immigrants are not drawn by the possibility of jobs and careers, but by free stuff. It is not a big stretch to have a situational ethic when it comes to criminal activity as well.

    Another thing I’ve observed first hand is large groups of young males cousins and brothers migrating north in groups. It’s not uncommon for me to see families send 5 or more sons north and often they drag along a few cousins. Out of a group that large, there are usually some bad apples and on occasion, the majority of them are immediately up to the same trouble of choice they enjoyed back home.

    The border is porous and the sanctuary city and state programs are like protecting the weeds in the vegetable garden at the expense of the vegetables. It defies common sense.

    The most heart-wrenching byproduct of illegal immigration and their American citizen children is the Hispanic gang problem. Parents working hard at two jobs and their kids are left fend for themselves after school, or they stay with the abuela, or a tia and hang out with their gangster cousins. I’ve shared this story before, one of my former employees was a single father here from Mexico. He left his son after school with his sister and her kids got caught up in one of the West Side cliques. Long story short my employee’s son was 2-3 days past 14 when he was stabbed to death, dying in the parking lot of Saks 5th Avenue. It absolutely broke his dad.
    During the drama, it came out that my employee was here illegally. The only thing I could do was to give him $$$ and let him go. He married a US citizen and caught on with the cemetery where we buried his son.

    steveg (e7a56b)

  33. I know you will find this deeply ironic. My feeling is that on sanctuary cities, Trump is tapping into his sense that (other) people should have to live with the consequences of their choices and behaviors.

    Please try to stop laughing before you have your dinner…

    steveg (e7a56b)

  34. @RealKyleMorris

    NEW: Florida House passes bill to ban “sanctuary cities” and requires state and local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities.

    Amazing, it’s almost like federally mandated action against rebellious localities that think they can keep asking for trouble forever will often and suddenly force their state to take action against them.

    I would be shocked, SHOCKED to find that states might also take greater and more aggressive action against imports from states with cities that still practice sanctuary policies. How does DRUMPH keep getting away with this?

    Ethical Drug Mule (7f188a)

  35. Also deeply ironic; by deciding to not put asylum seekers in sanctuary cities you incentivize cities to become sanctuary cities so that ICE doesn’t send asylum seekers there.

    frosty48 (6621fe)

  36. @30 – as I said Tammy, kabuki theater

    Horatio (c91cf7)

  37. I’m more concerned that liberalized policing in those cities would contribute to a more dangerous environment than an influx of illegals. I know that’s the case in Seattle.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9) — 4/23/2019 @ 9:53 pm

    Looking at you, Kim Foxx!

    Though the PNW has a unique settlement pattern where the large City has less of an influx, but either the rural parts (WA – Tri-Cities, Yakima) and the exurbs (OR – Hillsboro and Gresham) get more than respective Seattle or Portland proper.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  38. You raise good points that will be hard to refute without a lot of research. I had believed the statements that illegal immigrants commit less crime than the average. I’m going to have to spend some time seeing if I can substantiate my POV. If I can I’ll come back and post the links. If you want to write a post about how the GOP is great on our budget deficit problem I already have that research handy.

    May I ask what your proposed solution is? Mine would be to increase the penalties for employing an undocumented worker and adding enforcement staff sufficient to reduce the incentive to hire them. I think it’s clear that our current mechanisms don’t work well.

    Final question, what’s your opinion of catch and release for asylum seekers? They’re not really here illegally, since we’re letting them stay while they flow slowly through our system.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  39. 17. Tanny O’Haley (8a06bc) — 4/24/2019 @ 12:22 am

    Patrick used to have a series called Deport the Criminals First

    That’s not what ICE does.

    What ICE does is deport the most law abiding illegal immigrants first , provided that there is standing order of deportation against them. (in that case there’s no court process or an abbreviated one) It’s a bureaucracy.

    This New York Times article tells you that ICE deports the most law abiding illegal immigrants first although they don’t quite put it that way, but they come close..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/nyregion/asylum-seekers-deportation.html

    Mr. Sihotang had lost his fight to receive asylum in the United States a decade ago, a decision he did not appeal after he and thousands like him were granted a temporary reprieve from deportation by the Obama administration. Days after assuming office, President Trump revoked that protection, making Mr. Sihotang and thousands of other asylum seekers suddenly eligible for deportation, though many did not realize it…

    …Immigration agents have been especially active in New York City. Deportations of immigrants with no criminal convictions, including asylum seekers with years- or decades-old deportation orders, rose to 1,144 in the 2018 federal fiscal year from 313 in 2016, a 266 percent increase, according to a recent report from the city comptroller.

    That is the largest percentage increase of any Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in the country.

    ….Until Mr. Trump came into office, asylum seekers like Mr. Sihotang “had no reason to try to reopen their asylum case because they were permitted to stay and work in this country,” Amber Gracia, an immigration lawyer in Texas, said. “When the government suddenly seeks removal, these people are caught off guard.”

    She questioned why agents were focusing on deporting undocumented immigrants who had not broken the law, rather than focusing on violent criminals in the country illegally.

    ICE officials said that as long as there was a standing deportation order for an individual, there would be legal grounds to take that person into custody.

    There are people whose deportations were suspended years ago, on the condition they check in periodically. They no doubt expected to be admitted by law by Act of Congress at some point later.
    President Trump revoked a lot of the suspensions.

    So now when they come in they are sometimes arrested, although sometimes not without being told to renew their passport first without being told the reason why. (So they can be put on a plane)

    Now the people who show up are the most law abiding illegal immigrants first.

    This article argues they gave up their asylum cases because they were allowed to stay anyway (they don’t get government benefits if they are not refugees granted asylum, but that’s not a big consideration) They no doubt expected to be admitted by law by Act of Congress at some point later.

    That didn’t happen. And the suspension was revoked/

    In some of these cases there really is a big danger, but since the asylum claims were abndoned years ago, there’s no place to hear it. And of course maybe things changed in either direction/

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  40. 38. Time123 (ea2b98) — 4/24/2019 @ 2:06 pm

    I had believed the statements that illegal immigrants commit less crime than the average.

    It’s a no brainer. Of course they do, just like the average income of people in a room in which Bill Gates or Jeff Bbezos is present is very high.

    Mine would be to increase the penalties for employing an undocumented worker and adding enforcement staff sufficient to reduce the incentive to hire them.

    That’s a good policy if you want to try to cause a recession.

    I think it’s clear that our current mechanisms don’t work well.

    They don’t, and neither will anything else.

    Where is it written that this sort of law is enforceable sort of draconian measures?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  41. I have another question:

    We know that socialism doesn’t work. It’s been tried. Every economic policy that you imagine has bene tried somewhere. So show me a place that was harmed economically by too much immigration.

    Unlike as is the case with socialism you can’t find one.

    But you can’t say it’s never been tried. Because it happened. The whole history of the world till 1914 is one example. And there are many examples since.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  42. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/nyregion/federal-courts-deportation-ragbir-indonesians-stays-ice.html

    Last week, a judge in a New Jersey district court temporarily stopped the deportation of Indonesian Christians, longtime community members in Highland Park, N.J., who had been swept up by immigration agents.

    You can’t say Trump (or ICE) engages in any form of religious discrimination. Or logic, for that matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  43. 21. Horatio (c91cf7) — 4/24/2019 @ 8:28 am

    Short of that, it’s all kabuki theater

    You agree with me, then, that there ain’t no such thing as an 1) enforced 2) restrictive and 3) humane immigration law?

    You can pick two out of those three, but that’s all.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  44. Sammy…you can have all three…for legal immigrants…for illegal, nothing short of:

    1 – mandatory eVerify, with those who hire illegals incarcerated and assets seized,
    2 – a militarized border, with the ROE of shoot to kill, land mines,
    3 – what I mentioned above re: shooting males crossing the border and seizure of remittances,
    4 – if found to be in the US illegally, seizure of all assets and deportation, or incarceration on the North Slope of Alaska
    5 – no special treatment for DACA…US citizens come first…ALL DACA kids MUST serve in the military and be honorably discharged before a “path to citizenship” is even on the table
    6 – telling Mexico that failure to stop caravans will result in freezing their US assets

    I could go on and on, and flesh out all these points, but I’ll leave it as that

    Since we’ll do none of that, kabuki theater, mental masturbation, and verbal diarrhea will be the order of the day

    Horatio (673002)

  45. Oh…and repeal of the 1965 Immigration law

    Horatio (673002)

  46. Horacio, I don’t think anything so severe is needed. I’d expect a several thousand dollar fine, coupled with a reasonable expectation of getting caught would have a meaningful impact. Probably would also be bad for economic growth.

    Time123 (d54166)

  47. These are the kind of true-blue Trump-supporting Americans we want to have. https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/missing-illinois-boy-aj-freund/index.html

    Hint: When you go to bury a body, don’t take your cellphone with you. The police can track your locations from it. Leave it where you’re going to claim you were.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. @46 – as I said, kabuki theater

    Horatio (673002)

  49. 47. nk (dbc370) — 4/24/2019 @ 3:52 pm

    When you go to bury a body, don’t take your cellphone with you. The police can track your locations from it. Leave it where you’re going to claim you were.

    It’s the things that people think they can do but they can
    t do that cause them to get caught. Better than things that they think they can’t do, but they can’t.

    It’s not widely known yet that cellphone location can be detected, even retroactively. If this were used other than for the investigation of very serious crimes, more people would know that. It’s important to preserve privacy in more ordinary situations.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  50. * It’s the things that people think they can do, but they can’t do, that cause them to get caught.

    This is better than things that they think they can’t do, but they can.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  51. Once we let illegal immigrant felons vote from prison, this issue will all be moot anyway.

    Munroe (796dfd)

  52. People who have already committed a crime to get here are more likely to commit another crime than people who went to the time, expense and efgort to emigrate legally.

    Unless you have family members already in the US legally, there is NO WAY to legally enter. All the quota slots go to relatives. A willing worker with no family ties, or Uncle Pedro with cancer? Uncle Pedro, every time.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  53. What ICE does is deport the most law abiding illegal immigrants first , provided that there is standing order of deportation against them. (in that case there’s no court process or an abbreviated one) It’s a bureaucracy.

    Because it’s easier than chasing down the actual criminals. Much easier when they come in for the interview you promised them. You don’t even have to leave your office.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  54. I think it’s clear that our current mechanisms don’t work well.

    They don’t, and neither will anything else.

    Making sanctuary cities responsible for every illegal convict they release from custody might have an effect.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  55. Sammy

    Can I count refugees as immigrants in your scenario where an economy was harmed by too much immigration

    steveg (e7a56b)

  56. I think the case has been made that personal economies suffer due to wage suppression even if GDP doesn’t

    steveg (e7a56b)

  57. Nk, if only this place didnt feel the need to flip the workforce ahead of a possible raid, this lady might still be alive:
    http://nypost.com/2019/04/24/officials-identify-factory-worker-killed-in-freak-meat-grinder-accident/?utm_source=url_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

    urbanleftbehind (825528)

  58. Shades of The Jungle, urbanleftbehind!

    nk (dbc370)

  59. The reason that none of these numbers make sense to me is that I imediately run headfirst into the barrier raised by the fact that illegal immigration is itself a crime (which is, in fact, precisely where the “illegal” word comes from) — hence, 100% of illegal immigrants are criminals, and the rate of crime among (all) immigrants should then necessarily be much higher than the rate for native-borns.

    Henry (a5af87)

  60. 55. steveg (e7a56b) — 4/24/2019 @ 7:19 pm

    Can I count refugees as immigrants in your scenario where an economy was harmed by too much immigration

    Yes, yu can, although that is a case where non-economic forces are casing migration, ad I don’t think yo can find acase where it was harmed.

    Consider the mass population transfers that took place between India and Pakistan in 1947-48. Or between Greece and Tiurkey circa 1923.

    Is there any example of harm you have in mind? We do have depressions, but not attributable to that kind of cause. There may at most be mild shocks, easily gotten over with in a year or two.

    I am not talking about self-inflicted harm like prohibiting people from working and instead
    supprting them by charity.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  61. President Harding wanted to revise the law that imposed immigration quotas on the United States in 1921, but he was dissuaded by a Senator arguing that immigration resuming right after World War I, was responsible for the depression of 1920-21 (probably better called “The Great Deflation” which you probably never heard of, but prices dropped nearly in half (or maybe just over a third) – wholesale prices in May 1920, and finally consumer prices around November or December, 1920. Harry S Truman’s haberdashery went out of business as a result. The Federal Reserve Board didn’t make the same kind of mistakes it made in 1930, so the recovery was very quick.)

    About ten years after restricted immigration, (or 8 and 5 years after it got even more restricted in 1924) we had the Great Depression. If the way to prosperity was makingsure there were not too many people in the country, then that should not have happened then, out of all times. And any argument saying that, if not for the restricted immigration imposed in the 1920s, the Great Depression would have been worse, is the same thing as Obama saying the fiscal stimulus in 2009/10 either created or saved jobs: Pure (faulty) logic.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  62. New York Times Opinion
    @nytopinion
    My visit to the border confirmed that we have a real immigration crisis. The solution is a high wall with a big gate — but a smart gate, writes
    @TomFriedman
    __ _

    John Daniel Davidson
    @johnddavidson
    NY Times columnist travels to southern border, looks around, realizes something’s not quite right, publishes SCOOP.

    _

    harkin (a741df)

  63. He is a Sino-phile to the max and I’m not talking about narcos.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  64. News item: Massachusetts judge who helped illegal immigrant escape ICE arrest indicted, federal authorities say:

    A Massachusetts judge and a court officer accused of helping an illegal immigrant flee an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent waiting to take him into custody were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice and three other counts, officials said.

    U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling was set to officially announce the charges at a 12:45 p.m. news conference, according to a tweet from the office’s official account.

    Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and the court officer, identified in court documents as Wesley MacGregor, face several charges stemming from an April 2, 2018 incident in which the pair allegedly helped Jose Medina-Perez get out of the courthouse via a back door in order to elude the ICE agent who sought Medina-Perez. They’re both charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting; obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor was also charged with perjury before a federal grand jury.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/massachusetts-judge-who-helped-illegal-immigrant-escape-ice-arrest-indicted-federal-authorities-say

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  65. The reason that none of these numbers make sense to me is that I imediately run headfirst into the barrier raised by the fact that illegal immigration is itself a crime (which is, in fact, precisely where the “illegal” word comes from) — hence, 100% of illegal immigrants are criminals

    This is not true.

    Entering the US unlawfully is a crime. But many illegal immigrants enter lawfully and then overstay their visas.

    Remaining here after your visa expires, or other “unlawful presence” is not a crime. (It is a violation of the law, subject to civil penalties, but not a criminal offense).

    Dave (1bb933)

  66. This is not true.

    Entering the US unlawfully is a crime. But many illegal immigrants enter lawfully and then overstay their visas.

    Good point. I’d be interested to know the percentage of illegal immigrants who just flat hopped the border as compared to the ones who overstayed a legal visa. From the tenor of the arguments I’ve read over time, I would expect the former to greatly dwarf the latter.

    Henry (a5af87)

  67. 66. Our inability (unwillingness?) to properly prosecute those who overstay their visas is a major flaw of our immigration system, but I don’t think it’s a terribly difficult fix.

    Gryph (08c844)

  68. Apparently there is a connection between Pence’s former Chief of Staff and Peter Strzok. And some Trump aficionados are going nuts and suggesting Pence “spied” on Trump. And then apparently a bunch of Deep Staters “secretly” got hush hush envelopes at HW Bush’s funeral (on live TV in front of millions) which contained secret instructions. Some people have too much time on their hands. Including me, apparently.

    JRH (52aed3)

  69. Visa overstay statistics for FY 2017 (Oct 2016-Sep 2017) released in Aug 2018:

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrants through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY 2017. The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families, students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other nonimmigrant classes of admission.

    DHS has determined that there were 52,656,022 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2017; the in-scope admissions represent the vast majority of all air and sea nonimmigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events.

    The report also breaks down the overstay rates further to provide a better picture of those overstays who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status. At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures. 

    The U.S. government is using a multifaceted approach to enforce overstay violations, including improving entry and exit data collection and reporting, notifying visitors of an impending expiration of their authorized period of admission, cancelling travel authorizations and visas for violators, recurrent vetting of many nonimmigrants, and apprehending overstays present in the United States.

    Border crossings for FY 2017 were at a 46 year low:

    New data released by DHS show that Border Patrol arrests are at a 46-year low. Border officers apprehended 310,531 people for being in the country illegally in fiscal 2017, a 25 percent decrease from the year before. Meanwhile, arrests by agents with ICE in the interior of the country spiked from the year before to 143,470 immigrants — mostly Central Americans.

    FY 2019 border crossings were higher and have continued to increase significantly. Migrants and/or their smugglers can read the news and figure out when and how to come. Building a Wall would reduce their choices and enable us to more effectively focus our enforcement resources.

    We should address both. My guess is that visa overstays are easier to track and catch, if we decode to do it. However, getting back to the post’s topic, I also think that the visa overstays are probably safer for American communities than illegal border crossers.

    DRJ (15874d)

  70. I don’t know if the government overstay statistics are annual or cumulative. The border crossing statistics appear to be annual, so I may be comparing apples and oranges. If they are both annual, however, these numbers don’t really tell us much — except that different migrants come in different times and ways.

    DRJ (15874d)

  71. 69.

    …I also think that the visa overstays are probably safer for American communities than illegal border crossers.

    Didn’t the 9/11 hijackers overstay their visas?

    Gryph (08c844)

  72. I’m pretty sure that the 9/11 hijackers were all here on student visas. I’m not sure if they overstayed them, but if they didn’t, that’s only more reason to believe that our immigration and visa system is all kinds of f’ed up.

    Gryph (08c844)

  73. Border crossings for FY 2017 were at a 46 year low:

    I am always wary of statistics that use border crossing arrest rates as a stand-in for raw border crossing rates. Border crossings consist of the total of those arrested and those not arrested. Changes in arrest rates can be due to numerous confounding variables, including staffing and funding levels, politically-motivated changes in geographical deployment orders, rules of engagement, and other parameters easily manipulated by higher-ups to artificially amplify or downplay the perception of illegal immigration. And ironically, it’s not the number arrested that comprise the problem, it’s the number NOT apprehended.

    Henry (a5af87)

  74. Good point, Gryph. I hope the DHS tries to screen them better now. We know border jumpers have no screening, and I was thinking about the average migrants and their impact on our communities. But, still, good point.

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. Well said, Henry. I live in West Texas and I know that is true.

    DRJ (15874d)


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