Immigration and Crime

If you listen to the anti-immigration crowd for just a short period of time, one of the first complaints you'll hear is how dangerous the immigrants are that come over the southern border of the US.  You'd think they were all serial killers and child molesters the way some people talk!  This is obviously not true, and equally obvious is the fact that the government-created black markets in both human and drug smuggling is what's causing much of the crime in Mexico and places farther south.  But what about America's border towns?

Radley Balko's 2009 article about El Paso, Texas, helps bust that myth too.  From the article:

By conventional wisdom, El Paso, Texas should be one of the scariest cities in America. In 2007, the city's poverty rate was a shade over 27 percent, more than twice the national average. Median household income was $35,600, well below the national average of $48,000. El Paso is three-quarters Hispanic, and more than a quarter of its residents are foreign-born. Given that it's nearly impossible for low-skilled immigrants to work in the United States legitimately, it's safe to say that a significant percentage of El Paso's foreign-born population is living here illegally.

El Paso also has some of the laxer gun control policies of any non-Texan big city in the country, mostly due to gun-friendly state law. And famously, El Paso sits just over the Rio Grande from one of the most violent cities in the western hemisphere, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, home to a staggering 2,500 homicides in the last 18 months alone. A city of illegal immigrants with easy access to guns, just across the river from a metropolis ripped apart by brutal drug war violence. Should be a bloodbath, right?

Wrong!  El Paso is one of the safest big cities in America!  To find out how this could possibly be true, please read the rest of Balko's article, The El Paso Miracle, here.

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