Sunday, July 12, 2009

Want safety? Go where the immigrants go.

I understand why so many right wingers run away from facts, it's because facts tend to undermine the belief system on which they have built their entire political philosophy.

Take this:

"If you want to find a safe city, first determine the size of the immigrant population," says Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. "If the immigrant community represents a large proportion of the population, you're likely in one of the country's safer cities. San Diego, Laredo, El Paso—these cities are teeming with immigrants, and they're some of the safest places in the country."

If you regularly listen to talk radio, or get your crime news from anti-immigration pundits, all of this may come as a surprise. But it's not to many of those who study crime for a living. As the national immigration debate heated up in 2007, dozens of academics who specialize in the issue
sent a letter (pdf) to then President George W. Bush and congressional leaders with the following point:
Numerous studies by independent researchers and government commissions over the past 100 years repeatedly and consistently have found that, in fact, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be behind bars than are the native-born. This is true for the nation as a whole, as well as for cities with large immigrant populations such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami, and cities along the U.S.-Mexico border such as San Diego and El Paso.
That's the last thing you would believe if you got your news from Fox and listened to the crap which that channel regularly spews on this subject.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.


nunya said...

El Paso and San Diego are relatively safe, but their sister cities on the other side of the border are NOT. This is relatively new.



Kel said...

It's still a fascinating statistic, Nunya.