Saturday, July 15, 2017

There Is No Evidence of an Illegal Immigrant Crime Wave: Why the “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” Is Flawed

This blog post by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, presents an important response to claims about a supposed “illegal alien crime wave.” In 2015 Fox News tried to counter the generally accepted research showing that immigrants are less likely to be convicted of crimes than the native born. Nowrasteh points out obvious errors in the Fox News report—such as a common misunderstanding of county jail statistics that we pointed out in 2008—and shows the questionable reliability of references to a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) report which is not publicly unavailable. (The references originate in a blog at the far-right PJ Media site. Rightwing provocateurs Gavin McInnes and Ann Coulter are responsible for similar distortions of Texas DPS data.)—TPOI editor
Rightwingers used dubious stats as "evidence" in debate on Kate's Law (H.R. 3004
By Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
July 7, 2017
The House of Representatives recently passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) and Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) to tighten immigration enforcement in response to the fear that illegal immigrants are especially likely to commit violent or property crimes.  Both laws stem from the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant named Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez after he had been deported multiple times.

Debates on the House floor over both bills veered into the social science of immigrant criminality.  The majority of research finds that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives and that increases in their population in local areas are correlated with lower crime rates – even for illegal immigrants.

Despite that wealth of empirical evidence, a two-year-old Fox News piece entitled “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” by investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman was offered as evidence of illegal immigrant criminality.  Ms. Zimmerman’s piece makes many factual errors that have misinformed the public debate over Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.[…]

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