One argument that a lot of liberals like to throw out is that immigrants, including illegals, commit crime at a much lower rate than Americans. They use this as if that’s a good reason to let them in…like crime is an average rather than an aggregate. They’ll cite studies like that done by the CATO Institute as they proudly proclaim this. You’ll notice they’ll never include the crime of entering the country illegally in the first place when they tally up these statistics.
This article from American Thinker is a bit old, 2015, but offers a lot of useful information. It’s important to keep in mind that these numbers go off the absolutely absurd notion that there’s only 11 million illegals in the country. That number has been bandied about for years now, as if all illegal immigration stopped. The number is likely upwards of 30-40 million…but they don’t want you to know that…being that it would represent about 10% (!!!) of the population. The rate of illegal immigration has likely only increased since these numbers have come out, and with that have their violent crimes.
Per the GAO, “as of fiscal 2009, the total alien – non-U.S.-citizen – population was about 25.3 million, including about 10.8 million aliens without lawful immigration status.”
Since the population of the U.S. was about 306.8 million in 2009, non-citizens comprised 8.25% of the population and illegal aliens about 3.52%. (Recall that they represented 25% of the federal prison population then, and almost 39% in 2013.)
How many crimes did they commit? Almost three million. Here they are.
Now here is where the data get dicey: how do we convert these numbers to rates so that we can compare illegal aliens and non-citizens to other groups, such as U.S. citizens or inhabitants? We have to look at how the GAO determined those estimates.
“To determine the type of offenses for which criminal aliens were convicted, we analyzed data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission on federal convictions of criminal aliens from fiscal years 2003 through 2009 and conviction data from five states – Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas – from fiscal years 2005 through 2008.”
So now we have an apples and oranges problem. The federal data cover seven years and all non-citizens. The state and local data cover four years and illegal aliens only (and only those reported via SCAAP).
Let’s take homicide as an example. The GAO estimates “criminal aliens” were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides. If non-citizens committed them over seven years, the annual rate would be 14.2 per 100,000 non-citizens. If illegal aliens committed them over four years, the annual rate would be 58.0 per 100,000 illegal aliens. Either way you compute, those are high rates.
By comparison, the FBI reports the murder rates for the entire U.S. from 2003 through 2009 varied from 5.0 to 5.8 per 100,000 inhabitants for an average rate of 5.5. To be clear, 5.5 is much lower than either 14.2 or 58.0.
Or look at the total number of homicides in those years. Per the FBI, there were 67,642 murders in the U.S. from 2005 through 2008, and 115,717 from 2003 through 2009. Per the GAO, criminal aliens committed 25,064 of them. That means they committed 22% to 37% of all murders in the U.S., while being only 3.52% to 8.25% of the population.
Conclusion: criminal and illegal aliens commit murder at much higher rates than all inhabitants of the U.S. – at least 3 to 10 times higher.
And I believe these are low-end estimates. For one, murder is almost always handled at the state and local level, not the federal level. So the GAO’s homicide data are skewed toward the state and local data, which cover fewer years (four) and a smaller population (illegals only). The Washington Post states that “Federal prisoners made up 10 percent of the total incarcerated populations in the United States in 2013.”
OK, let’s assume that 90% of the crimes listed by the GAO (other than immigration itself) were committed by SCAAP persons in state and local institutions. That would mean illegal aliens committed 22,558 murders over four years. That is a rate of 5,639 per year, or over 15 per day. (For reference, Rep. Steve King reported a figure of 12 per day. A sheriffs’ association is reported to estimate it at 25 per day. I don’t know how reliable these values are, but they are not totally out of line with the GAO’s data.)
That would give a murder rate for illegal aliens of 52 per 100,000 (5,639 in a population of 10.8 million) – about 10 times that of U.S. citizens.
Here are the numbers of crimes per day committed by illegal aliens in just a few crime categories, based on those GAO numbers and the 90% figure for SCAAP persons over four years.
- Kidnappings: 9
- Murders: 15
- Sex offenses: 43
- Burglaries: 71
- Assaults: 131
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest these numbers are under-reported if anything. And what of catch and release? Do those statistics count I wonder? It probably depends on the city and state reporting the crime. Something tells me the illegal stats tallied in San Francisco are done in such a way to make it appear less worse than it really is.
We need to win the war of ideas and we cannot continue to sit by and listen and not speak up when the NPCs chirp these statements as if they are concrete fact. This is one of those lines they like to repeat constantly, along with “diversity is our strength” and “we’ve always been a nation of immigrants”. Do not be afraid to call them out on this. There’s a good chance a lot of other people in the conversation quietly agree or you may just turn them onto an idea they hadn’t considered or heard before.