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May 03, 2007

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Your issue on Immigrants & Crime. I am disturbed that the fact that 30% of criminals in our prisons are illegal immigrants!!!! So that means there are many on the streets that haven't yet been caught!!! And where do you suppose they live!!! Not in my neighborhood!!! In this article you said, "There is a common perception that there is a link between immigration and crime, particularly when it comes to gang violence, and that immigrants have a general contempt for the law. It can be surprising then, to read a report (PDF) that finds recently arrived immigrants have the lowest comparative incarceration rates in the United States, a rate much lower than that of native-born citizens." Unfortunately you do not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. How come? Rerun your statistic and look at crime committed by illegal immigrants and I am sure the picture will be different. In this article you put immigrants and undocumented immigrants (illegal immigrants) in the same category. This is disgusting. Every illegal immigrant commits FEDERAL CRIME. It started when they crossed our unprotected boarders as an illegal immigrant!!! My guess this article was put together by friends of President George Bush who want to make every illegal immigrant a citizen of the United States. I am all in favor of LEGAL IMMIGRATION and I am sure those who are legal immigrants are law abiding citizens. I welcome them with open arms. Now rewrite this article focusing only on crime and illegal immigrants! I dare you!

Thanks for your comment Ike. You are correct in pointing out that I did not make a distinction between illegal immigrants and those who have entered the U.S. legally. My intent was to focus on criminal activity, and whether immigrants, legal or illegal, commit more crime than native-born citizens, apart from immigration-related offenses. Although I did not quote any statistics, the 2007 report from the Immigration Policy Center that I reference states that “The foreign-born incarceration rate in 2000 was nearly two-and-a-half times less than the 1.7 percent rate for native-born non-Hispanic white men and almost 17 times less than the 11.6 percent rate for native-born black men.” The findings reference foreign-born, and don’t make a distinction on immigration status. I would like to know where your statistic “that 30% of criminals in our prisons are illegal immigrants” comes from, since I don’t think I’ve come across it, and it might be interesting for a follow-up piece.

Hi! the person before you didn't answer, so I thought I would! :) I couldn't find a 30% figure, but did find this:

"Citing an Urban Institute study, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies Steven Camorata noted in 2004: "Roughly 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens. That's a huge number since illegal aliens only account for about 3 percent of the total population."
(Justice Dept. Figures on Incarcerated Illegals - http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/27/114208.shtml)

I think your post actually addresses why some illegal immigrant areas have statistically lower crime rates: "...many immigrants may be fearful of law enforcement and not report crimes or look to the system for assistance."

The crime rates are statistically lower, because the majority of the illegal population refuses to call upon police for help. So in essence - the crime rate may not be lower after at all.

Can we agree there is no way to accurately catalog instances of crime in high illegal immigrant areas, if the crimes are not being reported to law enforcement in the first place?

I just wanted to point out that all of the statistics being tossed around can be very deceiving. First of all, I find nothing that indicates that 30% of our country's prison population is illegal immigrants. That seems completely fabricated.

Let's assume the second statistic is more accurate: that 17% of the federal prison population is made of illegal immigrants. I find this easier to believe after the recent surge of federal immigration raids, and the fact that most illegal workers have ended up in federal establishments rather than state facilities.

And here's one last statistic: the federal prison population is only 12% of the entire prison population.

So... 17% of the federal population equates to only 2% of the entire prison population (federal and state).

Source: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/correct.htm

So be careful with those statistics, and the propaganda you spread!

A Wiki Article notes that the Illegal Immigrant Federal Prison around 21% and the Immigrant Criminal Population is over 27%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_prison_population

Lou Dobbs noted the percentage of Criminal Aliens was 29.3% in 2001.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/05/29/Dobbs.May30/index.html

More follow-up: The key point is that 87%+ of the upcoming US population are High School Graduates (See: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/dropout05/NationalStatusCompletion.asp ). Around 75% of Latino Illegal immigrants lack a High School Education (See: http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/pr-imqual.html Figure 3.8). Unlike prior waves of immigration that were usually more on the ball than the "native" population; the US is now importanting a massive amoung of unskilled illegal immigrants (See: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/SR9.cfm Chart 10). Thus immigrant populations have 40% of House Hold heads without a High School Degree. vs. 10% for the native population. In general low income people have much higher crime rates.

Because of their much higher poverty rates and lack of education illegals (vs. many legal imigrants) appear to account for 21% of all incarcerated persons and have a per capita crime rate that is 6X higher than the native population (See: http://www.rasmusen.org/x/2007/06/29/illegal-immigrants-%20cause-21-of-crime/ )

The above is in a context of a 10X per capita crime rate increase since 1950, despite a massive abortion rate that eliminated many infants that were "unwanted and would have further increased the crime rate.

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