Tag Archives: immigration myths

Immigrants and Crime: Separating Fact from Fiction

detention1The myth of “immigrant criminality” is a persistent one, despite research and evidence to the contrary. The Immigration Policy Center recently released a report, breaking down the myth and separating the facts from the fiction of this so-called link between immigrants and crime. IPC took to their blog to analyze two recent stories in the media that have worked to perpetuate the myth.

The perennially hot, and inflammatory, question of whether or not immigration is related to crime has yielded front-page stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times over the past two days.  In different ways, each of these stories highlights the extent to which the myth of a supposed link between crime and immigration has long been based on emotion rather than fact. Although study upon study over the past century has demonstrated that immigration is not associated with more crime, the “myth of immigrant criminality”persists.

IPC’s report, “From Anecdotes to Evidence: Setting the Record Straights on Immigrants and Crime” further dispels the myth that immigrants are criminals. Among many other findings, the report states:

Although the undocumented immigrant population doubled to about 12 million from 1994 to 2004, data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the violent crime rate in the United States declined by 35.1 percent during this time and the property crime rate fell by 25.0 percent.1 The decline in crime rates was not just national, but also occurred in border cities and other cities with large immigrant populations such as San Diego, El Paso, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami.

Be sure to check out the full report here.

Immigration 10: Border Walls – True Costs in Dollars and Human Lives

Today, Duke at The Sanctuary bring us a powerful post on migration causes and costs (both in dollars and in lives). The effectiveness of “prevention through deterrence” and the concept of a border wall is also explored.

It is an ABSOLUTE must-read.

In the mid-nineties US policy towards Mexico changed in two significant ways that eventually set the stage for the current “immigration crisis.” In January 1994, NAFTA went into effect and a new era of prosperity and progress was to begin in Mexico. At the same time, a new strategy was enacted along the southern border intended to stem the flow of unauthorized migrants. The policy of “prevention through deterrence” involved quintupling border-enforcement expenditures, building new fortified checkpoints, high-tech surveillance, and deploying thousands of additional Border Patrol Agents. Additionally, border barriers were built along portions of the California and Texas border to prevent migrants from entering through the most highly trafficked urban areas.

More than a decade later it’s become evident that the promises of these two policies, rather than bringing economic change to Mexico and decreasing unauthorized migration to the US, have led to conditions that more than doubled the flow of migration….and brought added death to the border.

NAFTA, while bringing trade and investment to Mexico, has had unintended negative consequences on both sides of the border for working people and the poor. Whole segments of the US manufacturing sector have been relocated to Mexico resulting in job loss for US workers. At the same time, the lifting for trade restrictions in Mexico have allowed cheaper US commodities to enter the country, decimating Mexican agricultural markets and throwing millions of small farmers out of business. Additionally, the availability of even cheaper labor sources in places like China has forced manufacturing wages to go down.

As for the policy of “prevention through deterrence”, all it has really accomplished in the past fourteen years is a movement of the routes of migration from relatively safe urban areas like San Diego and El Paso to the hostile desert and mountainous regions where enforcement is difficult. This “funneling effect” of forcing migrants into least hospitable areas has had devastating effects for those on both sides of the border. A study released by the University Of Arizona examined the consequences of shifting migration patterns from California and Texas to Arizona and found it had increased migrants deaths by 20-fold.

The failures of NAFTA to bring prosperity to Mexico are well documented. It’s moved 19 million more Mexicans into poverty, forced more than a million small farmers off the land due to the lifting of restrictions on cheaper US subsidized agricultural products, lowered real wages, and in the end forced “millions …to abandon their native homelands. Entire indigenous nations — the Zapotecs, the Mixtecs, the Tzotzil Maya — have moved by the tens of thousands, creating the largest migration of Native American peoples in North America since the Trail of Tears in the late 19th century.”

While trade policies have brought suffering to the poor of Mexico, border policies have brought death.

Click here to read the full post.

The Lies, Distortions and Fabrications of F.A.I.R.

Today, there is a great post on Eristic Ragemail discussing the many unfounded claims of FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform). The group, which was listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, continues to be quoted consistently by mainstream media, with no regard to their extremist tendencies or funding sources.

A perennial canard of the nativists, and of FAIR, is the wholly untrue claim that immigrants overload the welfare system (such as it is). Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for welfare no matter how poor they may be. In fact, undocumented workers, contribute more in taxes and social security payments that they will ever see. Rather than being a burden, undocumented workers actually subsidize the Social Security fund and other social programs.

One can dissect almost every issue raised by FAIR and demonstrate its falsity or distortion. So why does FAIR continue to be trusted as a source of reliable information when so much of what they put out is patently untrue? The answer lies partly in the nativist network that FAIR and other nativist groups such as NumbersUSA have built.

There are many people who continue to buy into immigration myths propagated by the nativist network – they should know the truth.

Click here to read the full post.