Does Illegal Immigration Increase Crime? We’re Asking the Wrong Question

A recent poll from Rasmussen Reports finds that most Americans believe illegal immigration is increasing the level of serious crime in the USA. Fewer than 10 percent say it decreases the level of severe crime.

In other words, most voters are siding with Donald Trump at this point. Not surprisingly, the remnant legacy media are up to their usual games, claiming that there’s no good data so you don’t really know. They also claim that, by slicing and dicing, you can conclude the various immigrant groups don’t increase the crime level. All this in the relentless effort to prove that Trump is a liar, we’d assume. The Washington Post today gave Trump “four Pinocchio’s” for his claim. See a pattern here?

But don’t Americans have the right to ask for more than this? The question should be, “in what way does illegal immigration improve public safety for Americans?” And “does immigration generally, and illegal immigration in particular, reduce crime?” If immigrants proportionally commit fewer crimes than natives (not true in many cases depending on how you massage the data), then immigration could reduce the overall crime rate by increasing the ratio of the population to criminal offenses. But does it actually reduce crime itself? Clearly the answer must be “no,” because illegal immigration is a criminal offense, as are the frauds and misrepresentations associated with illegal immigration. Virtually all illegal aliens commit some sort of identity fraud, and many are guilty of tax evasion.

But even if it were true that illegal aliens commit fewer violent crimes, these are crimes that could have and should have been avoided if federal, state and local governments took immigration enforcement seriously. Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco would be alive today if immigration were properly controlled.

In the upcoming campaign, it’s time for a grown up discussion about the consequences of mass and illegal immigration for Americans. How does it benefit America? We know how it might benefit one particular political party. We know how it might benefit those who like lower wages. But how about the rest of us? Isn’t it time?

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