Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 3, 2010

Arizona Crime Stats

by Brad Warbiany

One of the key arguments in favor of the AZ “papers please” immigration law is that the state is being overrun by crime due to the rapid influx of immigration, and that the across-the-border drug wars have been spilling over into Arizona.

That might be a potent argument, if it were true. It’s truly sad how strong of an argument, then, considering it’s blatantly false:

Yet, a look at statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and the FBI indicate that both the number of illegal crossers and violent crime in general have actually decreased in the past several years.

According to FBI statistics, violent crimes reported in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Reported property crimes also fell, from about 287,000 reported incidents to 279,000 in the same period. These decreases are accentuated by the fact that Arizona’s population grew by 600,000 between 2005 and 2008.

According to the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Institute, proponents of the bill “overlook two salient points: Crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.”

Meanwhile, the cartel violence that has gripped Mexico for the most part has remained there, he said.

Human and drug smugglers are being “more aggressive because we’re being successful,” Escalante said, “But we’ve been lucky not to see that type of [violence] spill over here.”

But hey, who am I to suggest that facts actually be used in argument. After all, it is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

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