Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crime & Immigration US Style

There is an interesting article on immigration and crime here, in a magazine not notably supportive of immigration, which pretty much debunks the notion that Mexican immigrants to the United States have significantly higher rates of crime than white Americans, despite Mexico's high levels of violence at the moment.

It also demonstrates that Hispanics is a bit of a phony category (not as bad as "Asian Pacific Islanders") in that different Hispanic groups Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans & Domincans have very little in common.

In fact "immigrants" as a whole shouldn't really be considered as one amophous group. As my post of last year on the different imprisonment rates for different nationalities in England & Wales demonstrated some immigrant groups have higher rates than the domestic population and some have lower rates. There isn't a generic immigrant crime rate.


asquith said...

Ron Unz, from what I can gather, has long been relatively pro-immigration. Given that he publishes TAC, it hardly matters what staffers make of his analysis, he is going to express himself on its pages anyway.

I was impressed by his article but I still think the Mexican border should be tightened. I am more swayed by Christopher Caldwell's arguments, which of course are even more pertinent in Europe.

When you hear about some people (& I know a lot of them) being model immigrants, & others (I know a lot of these too) being total cunts, it just makes you wonder why they can't let in some people but not others. I accept that a nation has the right to exercise some border controls- who doesn't, apart from b00ns like No Borders?

I remember well that a pal of mine arrived as an asylum seeker from Iran (prior to the election). Eventually she was sent back. Now, in the strictest sense, that was right in that she wasn't in any great danger, & is having a reasonably ok life in Iran to this day.

But when I consider this person's intelligence, her kindness, her excellent work ethic, & the fact that she would indisputably have made a great contribution to this country, I start wondering why we denied ourselves her services.

You also see some complete tossers having the freedom of this country. To some extent my view is emotionally based (yes, Dr Freud, the above mentioned young woman was also very attractive) but how hard can it be to have a points-based system?

When I hear the blanket slagging off of Muslims this, asylum seekers that, I don't like it. Now, some of the people I've come across perfectly deserve to be slagged off. That is what turned me away from the hardcore pro-immigration at all costs stance I once took. But that is a reason for being selective, not for randomly hating everyone.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ross, Ross, do you mean to say you've looked at facts and logic and applied commonsense before actually saying anything, rather than just pandering to people's ill-informed prejudices?

You'll not go far in politics with that sort of approach!

The right wingers will hate you for saying "Not all immigrants bad" and the lefties will hate you for saying "Some immigrants are worse than the average British citizen".

JuliaM said...

"...but how hard can it be to have a points-based system?"

Very hard indeed, when we don't actually set our own policy any more...

Laban said...

I don't think the finding that first-generation immigrants commit less crime is particularly astounding - with the exception of groups from war torn places, like Somalis and Kosovans, that's mostly been the UK experience. The Windrush generation and the early Asian immigrants were a pretty law-abiding bunch.

It's what happens to the second and third generations that seems to be the issue. I wrote about this in the UK here (in relation to the Poles) and here (in relation to US immigration).

Ron Unz is an icon of social cohesion (or should be), for his law changes in California and Arizona which mandated English-language teaching in schools.

Ross said...

Laban- That is a fair point, people often forget that whilst immigrants are usually "young" they are usually older than the peak offending years of the late teens and early 20s.

However Unz does address that point:

"contrary to popular belief, the majority of today’s Hispanics are already American-born, and this is certainly true of those in the highest-crime age groups. For example, two-thirds of today’s Latinos aged 18-24 are American citizens by birth. This figure has risen from less than half 20 years ago, while crime rates have simultaneously plummeted nationwide, with relative Hispanic imprisonment rates also dropping significantly since 2000. If American-born Mexicans and Central Americans had the exceptionally high crime rates suggested in that 2006 study, it is strange that we have seen no evidence of this either in the trends of national crime data or in imprisonment statistics."

Anonymous said...

Of course one reason why in the US immigrants don't break the law too much is that they could get deported otherwise.


I know someone from Colombia who was deported because he broke the law here - he did have get £3K - goodness know why. I would have put him in an unheated prison near Aberdeen or better still Ukraine until he agreed to go home.

James Higham said...

I wouldn't mind knowing about this and shall follow the link.

Daphne said...

It also demonstrates that Hispanics is a bit of a phony category (not as bad as "Asian Pacific Islanders") in that different Hispanic groups Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans & Domincans have very little in common.

Try explaining that to someone who doesn't live in a border state, Ross. It's nearly impossible for them to grasp that there is a very real difference between the various brown folks.