Panic! At the Border

 Guest Post:  Michael Stafford

Entire post copied with permission from  Michael Stafford.

The following is the opinion of the poster and does not necessarily represent the views of administration.


Myths and facts about crime on America’s southern frontier

The rationale for Arizona’s SB 1070, the state immigration enforcement statute passed in 2010 that is now being copied by other states such as Alabama and Georgia and championed as a cause célèbre by many on the Right, was based on a simple premise, namely, that Arizona was experiencing a surge in violent crime fueled by unauthorized immigrants.

Daryl Cagle / (click to view more cartoons by Daryl Cagle)


The link between unauthorized immigrants and crime is one of the most persistent myths in the immigration debate. But the facts tell a very different story, even in Arizona and along the Mexican frontier.

Despite all the hype, in reality, crime rates in Arizona, including its border counties, have been falling for years. More broadly, two of our nation’s safest metropolitan areas- San Diego and El Paso, are border cities. Indeed, by any objective measure, the southern border is safer now than it has been in decades. There was no, and there is no, immigrant-fueled crime wave.

The Wild West?

Listening to some politicians and members of the conservative entertainment complex last year, one got the impression that our southern border was descending into a state of near anarchy and chaos. That we were being subjected to a waive of violent crime fueled by unauthorized immigrants. That we were under siege. That we were facing an “invasion.”

For example, conservative radio host Michael Savage informed his listeners that, “[w]e need to get our troops out of Iraq and put them on the streets of America to protect us from the scourge of illegal immigrants who are running rampant across America, killing our police for sport, raping, murdering like a scythe across America while the liberal psychos are telling us they come here to work.”

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