by David L. Wilson, Extra!
Immigrants aren't a crime problem. "The foreign-born commit considerably fewer crimes than the native-born," as President Herbert Hoover's National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement concluded in 1931 (National Lawyers Guild Quarterly, 10/39; Immigration Policy Center, Spring/07). While noncitizens now make up more than 8 percent of the U.S. population, the available evidence indicates that they account for no more than 6 or 7 percent of the people incarcerated for crimes in the United States, less than 170,000 of the 2.3 million inmates currently in our federal, state and local penal systems--not including some 30,000 immigrants in administrative detention on any given day awaiting deportation. (Politics of Immigration, 4/2/08, 5/7/08).
Why, then, do so many people believe in the myth of immigrant criminality?
One reason is the mainstream media's habit of giving inflated estimates for the number of immigrants in prison. [...]
Read the full article:
Note: One of the people discussed in the article is Indiana University economist Eric Rasmusen, who was quoted in Time magazine last year as saying that undocumented immigrants commit 21 percent of crimes in the United States. Prof. Rasmusen is back this month with another astonishing claim. He signed on to the Cato Institute's January 28 full-page ad against using job creation and infrastructure maintenance to revive the economy. "Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth," the ad assures us, as if that wasn't what we've been doing for the past 30 years.
For more on Prof. Rasmusen and the immigrant prison population: