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November 19, 2007


lane filler

Anyone looking for a different take on the illegal immigration story should try:

Fool on the Hill

I don't think so. I went to that website, and the only thing relating to immigrants that I found was a silly column about what's in Mike Huckabee's wallet.


The only thing that's truly worsening is the climate of hate. Americans won't be the first victims of that, except Hispanic Americans. So, whatever it is that's "worsening on the ground" that relates to immigration, affects Hispanic illegals & legals/citizens many, many times worse than anybody else.

Bill Shelton


A couple of columns ago, I promised to tell you my sources for what I wrote about the incidence of criminality among undocumented immigrants. I never got back to you. If you are still reading this, I’m sorry.

The source for my hard numbers on the proportion of immigrants versus native born Americans in incarcerated populations was the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice and has its own website. The statistics that it compiles cover broader areas of interest than the FBI’s uniform crime statistics do, but they are consistent with each other.

Other sources of data and analysis included the following:

Kristin F. Butcher and Anne Morrison Piehl, Why Are Immigrants' Incarceration Rates So Low? Evidence on Selective Immigration, Deterrence, and Deportation (Working Paper 2005-19). Chicago: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, November 2005.

Dillingham Immigration Commission, Abstracts of Reports of the Immigration Commission, vol. 2, 61st Congress, 3rd Session. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1911, p. 159-221. This is where the quotes about illegal immigration in the early 1920s came from.

Published papers by Harvard’s Robert Sampson, including

Robert J. Sampson, "Open Doors Don't Invite Criminals: Is Increased Immigration Behind the Drop in Crime?" New York Times (Op-Ed), March 11, 2006. and

Robert J. Sampson, Jeffrey D. Morenoff and Stephen Raudenbush, "Social Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Violence," American Journal of Public Health, vol. 95, no. 2, February 2005, p. 224-232.

Published papers of U.C. Irvine’s Ruben Rumbaut, including

Rubén G. Rumbaut, "Turning points in the transition to adulthood: Determinants of educational attainment, incarceration, and early childbearing among children of immigrants," Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 28, no. 6, November 2005, p. 1041-1086.

Rubén G. Rumbaut and Walter A. Ewing, The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation: Incarceration Rates among Native and Foreign-Born Men. Washington, DC: Immigration Policy Center, American Immigration Law Foundation, Spring 2007.

Rubén G. Rumbaut, Roberto G. Gonzales, Golnaz Komaie and Charlie V. Morgan, "Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment Among First- and Second-Generation Young Men," Migration Information Source. Washington, DC, Migration Policy Institute, June 2006.

Eyal Press, "Do immigrants Make Us Safer?" New York Times Magazine, December 3, 2006.

Ramiro Martinez, Jr. and Abel Valenzuela, Jr., eds., Immigration and Crime: Race, Ethnicity, and Violence. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Matthew T. Lee, Crime on the Border: Immigration and Homicide in Urban Communities. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2003.

All sources that I could find that use hard data to support their analysis agree that crime among undocumented immigrants across every category for which data exist (e.g., high-school drop outs, Hispanics, etc.) demonstrate that illegal immigrants’ crime rates are far lower than those for American citizens.

Truth Fan

Bill, you did not disappoint me. Thank you.

This is a tough, tough problem, and I think that you've come up with the solution that best fits everything we know.

It's interesting to me that there were something over a hundred posts to some of your previous immigration pieces and only four so far for this one. I think that the usual immigrant haters don't have much too say because you insist on starting with enforcement, and there probably isn't a more cost effective means of enforcement that what you are proposing. And the Progressives don't have to much to say because you've exposed all of the myths about illegal immigrants, but still insist that laws should be enforced.

Good work.

Border Enforcement

It's scary how misinformed and naive people are. The government promised border enforcement the last time they had a widescale amnesty for illegals. What happened? No enforcement, and as predicted, even more illegals streaming across our borders. And, although I disagree with the poster above who states that the crime rate for illegals is lower than for legal citizens (how can you know - most of it is buried, unreported, or attributing to a fake name?), any crime committed by an illegal, whether it be homicide, motor vehicle accident/death, theft, etc., is a crime that wouldn't have happened if that person had been stopped at the border!

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