Tag: illegal immigration

Illegal Immigration and Crime 2.0 – Addressing Some Criticism

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Last week I published a “Debunk This” piece examining whether or not illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than native born Americans, which I was prompted to do after seeing a debate featuring the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh.

Alex responded and directed me to some criticisms of the studies I cited in making my own case, some of which is necessary to incorporate into my arguments. Dan invited Alex and I to debate the subject on his NRATV show, so ahead of that, I thought I’d address some of the criticisms of my criticism. I’d recommend reading my article “Do Illegal Aliens Really Commit Fewer Crimes” to anyone who hasn’t done so already, before reading this.

Alex linked to some of his writing on John Lott’s immigration study, and the Government Accountability Office’s, both of which I relied on:

Before addressing those criticisms, I think it is worth reiterating my point that any estimates we have of illegal immigrant crime based off of prison statistics are going to be understated for the reasons I mentioned in my initial piece:

  • In America, the average convict released had 3.9 prior convictions (excluding convictions that didn’t result in jail time). Given that many illegal immigrants will simply be deported at the end of their sentence (or be deported in lieu of other punishment), the chance of them re-offending is essentially zero (unless they’re to reenter the U.S.). Thus, we’re working with a biased sample, whereas many of the worst illegal alien offenders are no longer in the U.S. in the first place.
  • Most crime victims in America are victims at the hands of people who look like them. Many of the victims of illegals are likely illegals themselves, or the children of illegals, both of which wouldn’t want to get law enforcement involved.

And since the studies I referenced were based on illegal immigrant prison statistics, there are two other variables that cause illegal alien crime to be understated:

  • Over 60% of illegal aliens live in just 20 sanctuary cities, and some of those cities solve serious crimes at far lower rates than the national average. In 2015, 46% of the violent crimes and 19% of the property crimes reported to police in the U.S. were cleared, according to FBI data. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, only about a third of violent crimes are cleared.
  • There are certain crimes illegals commit that we’re not even considering – such as identity theft/fraud.  The IRS has documented 1.3 million individual cases of employment related identity theft from 2011-2016. While this isn’t the same as aggravated identity theft, the fact that nearly 40 million Social Security numbers have been compromised by illegals isn’t exactly heartwarming.

That aside, let’s dive into the two studies I cited.

John Lott/Arizona Study

Nowrasteh’s main criticism here is that Lott is overstating the number of illegal immigrants by looking at the incarceration rates of “non-citizens,” but that includes people besides illegal aliens (such as someone with a green card, whom Nowrasteh points out account for 10% of those deported).  Fair enough.

To narrow down which “non-citizens” are illegal aliens, Nowrasteh isolates which have ICE detainers outstanding (which require an inmate to be deported at the end of their sentence). About 38% of illegals in his sample had ICE detainers.

There were 1,823 prisoners with ICE detainers in 2017, which out of a prison population of 42,200 amounts to an incarceration rate to be “a maximum of only 4.3% of all prisoners,” compared to the 4.9% of Arizona’s population illegals compose.

Where Nowrasteh and I disagree is in our interpretation of those ICE detainer figures. Nowrasteh sees them as the maximum number of non-citizens that are illegals, which I see that as the absolute minimum. Politics has played a large role in the number of ICE detainers outstanding, with fewer than half being in existence in 2017 than their peak in 2010. Note the figures charted below are overall detainers (not just prisoners), and the same trend holds nationally.

Furthermore, to believe that 62% of the non-citizen prison population in Arizona are non-illegal immigrants would betray everything we know about legal immigrant crime statistics. There are about 13 million legal permanent residents in the U.S., which is similar to the illegal alien population of 10-15 million. Are we to believe that legal immigrants, that have gone through background checks (among all the other hurdles to immigrate), are committing crimes at double the rates of illegal immigrants?

That seems unlikely, and as Lott himself noted, “if we adjust the 2017 rate of detainers during the Trump administration to equal the Fiscal Year 2011 rate, then Nowrasteh’s range of incarceration rates would actually be from 6.79% to 7.89%,” which is greater than their share of Arizona’s population.

GAO Study 

A second study I cited was from the Government Accountability Office, which provided State level illegal immigrant crime statistics based on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which reimburses States for the costs of illegal immigrant prisoners. That report found that in 2009 there were 295,959 criminal aliens in state, local, and federal prisons, which Nowrasteh says suffers from double-counting, because the 295k figure is based on total incarcerations, not incarcerated individuals.

As an alternative figure, Nowrasteh uses the American Community Survey (ACS), a Census-like survey that (among many other things) garners data on prisoners, including whether or not they’re American citizens, and their country of birth. Nowrasteh cites 156,329 non-citizens incarcerated at the federal, state, and local level in 2008, about half the SCAAP figure. Of course, this is self-reported data, and some non-citizens could slip through the cracks when it comes to reporting their citizenship status.

Again, the disagreement between Nowrasteh and I appears to be in how to interpret both studies. In my view the SCAAP survey is an absolute maximum figure for illegals incarceration. While it does suffer from double counting, it’s hard to imagine it’s by a large extent, unless we’re to believe that the illegals are only being incarcerated for months at a time, then immediately re-offending, and all without risking deportation. Meanwhile, I’d view the ACS figure as a minimum.

Since the truth is likely somewhere in the middle, and it’s not possible to know, I’ll be retiring this study in the future (which unfortunately means I’ll have to retract the snarky comment at the end of my prior essay). I will note however that there is another way to look at the data, based on the percentage of overall prison time illegals serve, rather than the percentage of prisoners they compose.  According to the 2009 SCAAP data, illegal aliens accounted for 5 and 6 percent of the total days of prison time served in state and local jails, respectively. If we’re to assume 12.5 million illegal aliens in America and an overall population of 325 million, illegals account for 3.8% of the population.

And Let’s Suppose I’m Wrong

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say I’m wrong that illegal aliens commit crimes at rates higher than native born Americans. That still doesn’t change the fact that there are crimes being committed that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Suppose for the sake of a thought experiment that there was a city of 1 million people, and an additional 1 million illegals began living in the city. In the sake of this thought experiment, natives are victimized at a rate 85% higher than they were before the influx of illegals, due to increased crime from the illegal share of the population.

But at the same time, the population of the city doubled, meaning there would be simultaneously more native victims of crime, and yet the crime statistics would actually appear to decrease. Would any of those victimized notice (or find comfort in knowing) that they were technically being victimized at a lower statistical rate?

Here’s How Mexico Treats Illegal Immigrants

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

While combating illegal immigration has long been a bipartisan issue, the so-called anti-Trump “resistance” has decided that guilt tripping anyone who supports a sensible immigration policy is a viable political strategy. We’ve all heard the arguments; that opposing illegal immigration is preventing people from “just looking for a better life,” or over the past few months, is “separating families.” And of course there’s the most common insult, that enforcing immigration laws is “racist.”

But are America’s immigration laws, or our treatment of illegal immigrants uniquely awful?

To answer that question, let’s examine the situation in another nation: Mexico.

Mexico Rejects More Asylum Requests than the U.S. 

Speaking of the rise in asylum request rejections under Trump, a writer at the American-Statesman noted a “dramatic” change. They write, “Immigration judges, who are employed by the Justice Department and not the judicial branch like other federal judges, rejected 61.8 percent of asylum cases decided in 2017, the highest denial rate since 2005.”

Meanwhile in Mexico, nearly 90 percent of asylum requests are denied (and the figures are similarly high for other Latin American countries, such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala).

Mexico Regulates Immigration Based on Race

I only bring this up, because for all the rhetoric about Trump’s supposed racism or disdain for certain immigrants, there is one country that does regulate their immigration flows by race, and that’s the country Trump is most accused of being racist against.

In Article 37 of Mexico’s General Law of Population, we learn that their Department of the Interior shall be able to deny foreigners entry into Mexico, if, among other reasons, they may disrupt the “domestic demographic equilibrium.” Additionally, Article 37 also states that immigrants can be removed if they’re detrimental to “economic or national interests.”

Mexico Deports More Central American Illegal Immigrants than the United States

In July 2014, former Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto and former president of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina, announced the start of a migration security project called Plan Frontera Sur (Southern Border Plan). The U.S. has committed at least $100 million towards this plan to help aid Mexican border security, because it’s mutually beneficial. Both Mexico and the U.S. want to keep out Central American illegal immigrants (and they have to pass through Mexico to reach the U.S.)..

Since Plan Frontera Sur, Mexico has deported more central American illegal immigrants than we have in the U.S. Even CNN had to acknowledge that:

According to statistics from the US and Mexican governments compiled by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, Mexico in 2015 apprehended tens of thousands more Central Americans in its country than the US did at its border, and in 2015 and 2016 it deported roughly twice as many Central Americans as the US did.

Since migrant children are the hot-button topic in the American immigration debate currently; In 2014 there were 18,169 migrant children were deported from Mexico, and 8,350 deported to Central America the year before. From January 2015 to July 2016, 39,751 unaccompanied minors were put in the custody of Mexican authorities.

A report this year from Amnesty International concluded that “Mexican migration authorities are routinely turning back thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to their countries without considering the risk to their life and security upon return, in many cases violating international and domestic law by doing so.”

Mexico Has Their Own Southern Border – and Invisible Wall

For us much as Donald Trump is criticized by the political class in Mexico for wanting to beef up security on the U.S.-Mexico border, as previously mentioned, Mexico has accepted our help in enforcing their immigration laws on their own southern border with Guatemala. While they don’t have a literal border fence, they do have checkpoints, patrols, raids, etc. According to NPR:

Rather than amassing troops on its border with Guatemala, Mexico stations migration agents, local and federal police, soldiers and marines to create a kind of containment zone in Chiapas state. With roving checkpoints and raids, Mexican migration agents have formed a formidable deportation force.

Is there any criticism of American immigration laws that can’t be made of Mexico?

 

Five Things You Need to Know About Separation at the Border

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

For most of the time America has experienced an influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico, it’s been young single men. In recent years that’s changed, whereas entire families (or a parent and child) try to cross the border together. Given Trump’s publicly strict stance on immigration, and beefed up border patrol, fewer prospective illegals are even bothering to make an attempt at crossing the border.

Meanwhile, many illegals who would otherwise simply try to cross the border, are trying to claim asylum at the border as a form of loophole. As a protective measure against human trafficking, children brought over with a parent (or someone claiming to be a parent) are temporarily separated from their families. This policy (which also went on during the Obama administration) has been just the latest piece of “evidence” to hysterical liberals that America has become the Third Reich.

And like most Leftist narratives, it’s bogus. Here are five things you need to know.

Trump Did Not Create the Policy of Separating Immigrant Families

As Ben Shapiro noted, it was the 1993 “Reno v. Flores” Federal Court ruling that decided children cannot be held with parents that are in custody to be prosecuted.

The settlement said nothing about accompanied illegal immigrant children – children who crossed the border with their parents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then ruled that accompanied children also could not be held in custody under the terms of the settlement. This meant that the government either had to release whole families, or that the government had to separate parents from children.”

Granted, I wouldn’t put it past the media to blame Trump for a policy that was created two decades before he took office.

There Are Other Ways to Seek Asylum

Rather than illegally cross the border in attempting to claim asylum, one legitimately trying to claim asylum could visit any of the ten U.S. Embassys or Consulates in Mexico. While one can only apply for temporary refugee at Consulates, trying to apply for asylum is a losing battle anyway. Only about 2% of Mexican asylum applications are accepted each year (as opposed to over 50 percent from other nations), which indicates that most seeking asylum are really economic migrants.

In 2013, Obama Had More than Double the Migrant Children in Custody

According to Newsweek, the Department of Health and Human Services said that there were as many as 10,852 children in their custody at the end of May. Meanwhile, in 2013, Obama’s HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) had 25,000 unaccompanied minors in their care.

And Obama Separated Plenty of Families Too

While I don’t like to get into whataboutism, I point out that Obama did “the same thing” to prove how selective liberals are in their outrage. Between 2010-2016, the Obama administration prosecuted 500,000 illegals. Figures from the ORR prove that between 2012-2016, almost 200,000 migrant children were referred to the DHS (because they were either separated from their families, or they were unaccompanied minors).

Most Children in HHS Custody Were Not Separated from Parents

As of mid-June, roughly 10,000 of the 12,000 kids now in HHS care were sent unaccompanied by their parents (and the remaining were separated). It cannot be emphasized enough how extremely reckless this is.

Not only does the overwhelming majority of cartel violence occur at the border, an investigative report from Fusion found that an unbelievable 80 percent of migrant women are raped on their illegal journey from Mexico to the U.S.. Amnesty International’s study on the matter found a lower figure – which was still an astonishingly high 60 percent.

What kind of parent exposes their children to that risk?  I’m surprised no one has made the following point – that the kind of people who will cross the border with a child knowing very well that they risk being separated from them (or will risk sending them alone through cartel land), do not have the kind of character of individuals we’d want immigrating to America.

Liberal Pundits Blast Trump for Obama-era Immigration Failures

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

No one knows how effective arguing based on immigration is more than the modern Left, and that’s shown in a string of particularly embarrassing (once debunked) but effective talking points that have been dominating social media for the past week.

First on the list is the claim that the government had simply lost 1,475 children in their custody. While a conservative could perhaps cite this is just the billionth example of government incompetence, the liberal angle on the statistic is that it’s a consequence of Trump’s strict policies on immigration, that he’s “breaking up families.” This particular claim originated from USA Today, which was citing congressional testimony by Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Assistant Secretary Steven Wagner.

When unaccompanied minors are discovered at the border, there’s an HHS program that unites them either parents, close relatives, or another sponsor. It’s the following part of Wagner’s testimony that’s the basis for the “1,475 missing” claim:

From October to December 2017, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) attempted to reach 7,635 unaccompanied children (UAC) and their sponsors. Of this number, ORR reached and received agreement to participate in the safety and well-being call from approximately 86 percent of sponsors. From these calls, ORR learned that 6,075 UAC remained with their sponsors. Twenty-eight UAC had run away, five had been removed from the United States, and 52 had relocated to live with a non-sponsor. ORR was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 UAC.

The government did not lose those children. The children were placed with families – and then those they were placed with didn’t respond to inquiries from the ORR. Even PBS republished the same misunderstanding of Wagner’s testimony.

That hasn’t been the only migration-related blunder that liberals have made in recent weeks.  An article showing images of children detained in an immigration facility spread like wildfire through social media, thanks entirely to a handful of pundits, including Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, CNN’s Hadas Gold, race-baiter extraordinaire Shaun King, New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, Sharia-law enthusiast Linda Sarsour, New York Times columnist Lauren Wolfe, and literally hundreds of thousands of others.

The thing is, had they even bothered to click through the article, they would’ve seen it was from June…. of 2014. Who do they think was President in 2014?

Yet despite the photos originating from the Obama days, the aforementioned pundits spoke about that image like they’d been ordered straight from The Donald himself.

Let’s be honest: the probability that every single one of those alleged-journalists misread the date on this story is 0 percent. It’s much more likely they hoped an old adage would hold true; that a lie gets half-way around the world before the truth can even get dressed.

Apparently not content with one lie, another is spreading from the alleged-journalists; that ICE had a deportation bus designed specifically for babies. It originated with Antonio Arellano, an ABC-Housan reporter. It was re-posted by Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas, former Hillary Clinton adviser Philippe Reines, Ana Navarro (inevitably), and NBC/MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt.

And again, had a single person actually clicked through the link, they would’ve found the article was published in April 2016 while Obama was President.

And what was the bus actually used for? Educational field trips.

The horror.

You know, for all the time the Left spends calling Trump a “Nazi,” it certainly is interesting that thy have to point towards alleged misdeeds under the Obama administration to prove it.

Do Illegal Immigrants Really Pay “$10 Billion” A Year In Taxes?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Are illegal immigrant laborers putting money into the pot just like the rest of us? That’s what a number of pundits on the left have claimed, usually with a figure in the range of $10-12 billion a year.

  • PolitiFact rated the statement “Undocumented immigrants pay $12 billion of taxes every single year” from María Teresa Kumar of “Vote Latina” true – even though the “$12 billion” figure was based off of payroll taxes, half of which is paid by the employer. On the other hand, her estimate didn’t include state and local taxes.
  • A 2016 study by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants paid $11.64 billion in state and local taxes in 2013.

So there appears to be some truth to the claim, but first let’s answer the lingering question of how the heck illegal immigrants are paying taxes in the first place.

That’s where the “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” comes in. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals that must file taxes, but either don’t have or are ineligible for a Social Security number. ITIN’s are issued regardless of immigration status. Of an estimated illegal immigrant workforce of 8 million, 3.4 million, or less than half, are registered with ITINs and are paying taxes. So the majority are not.

And of those who do, let’s take that $12 billion figure at face value and put it in perspective. In 2017, the Federal government spent $4 trillion, or 10.95 billion per day. The entirety of the nation’s taxpaying illegals don’t even pay enough in taxes to cover what the federal government spends in a day (because the 12 billion figure includes taxes paid to state and local governments).

And this is from eight million workers. The American labor force had roughly 160 million workers in 2017. Just for the sake of a thought experiment, if we were to replace the entire labor force with illegal immigrants, and have them pay all their state and local taxes to the feds, the Federal government would’ve collected approximately $240 billion in tax revenue in 2017, as opposed to the $3.3 trillion that the Federal government actually collected in 2017.

And seldom do those pointing out that illegals pay taxes mention how much they take from the pot.

  • Because illegals displace legal American employment (100% of which would be paying taxes – and likely at higher wages), illegal immigrants impose a $30 billion annual cost in lost tax revenue.
  • Because of pressure on wages, illegal immigrants are costing American workers $118 billion annually in lost wages.
  • the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds the net cost of illegal immigration (i.e. net of taxes paid by illegals) to be $116 billion. This is particularly noteable, because they assume that illegals pay $19 billion annually in taxes – far more than our liberal friends typically claim.
  • The conservative Heritage Foundation’s study on the same subject finds a comparatively lower $55 billion net cost to American taxpayers.
  • Health care costs for illegal immigrants alone total nearly $20 billion, or almost double what they pay in taxes, according to American Enterprise Institute scholar Chris Conover.

So yes, we are getting about $12 billion a year in tax revenue from illegals.

Problem is, it just costs a heck of a lot more than $12 billion to collect it.

December 1, 2017: Ep. 603 Justice Isn’t Blind Anymore, It’s Political

The Kate Steinle verdict is a disgusting travesty of justice.

Mike Flynn is going to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, when is Hillary Clinton going to prosecuted for her deception?

Debunking major liberal myths about tax reform.

The “score” on the senate tax cut bill is a scam.

Read this piece about the community development block grant scam.

No more block grants! There’s a better way.