What the Studies Say on Immigration and Crime

A common perception going back into the 1800’s is that immigrants bring criminal behaviors with them into the country.

Much of the positioning and politicking about immigration focuses on crime and fears that immigration brings crime into the country. Donald Trump famously said of Mexican immigrants, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” (Remarks from the speech by Donald Trump when announced his run for the Republican nomination for president at Trump Tower Atrium in Manhattan on June 16, 2015)

Crime is obviously a very big societal concern, and one we shouldn’t take lightly. Most Americans are in agreement on that point. Protecting law abiding citizens from criminal behaviors is a top priority, one that often justifies using a significant percentage of local tax dollars in support of law enforcement. If immigration increases crime in our communities, tightening up the immigration laws makes sense from the standpoint of protecting citizens from crime. But does it?

Does immigration increase the crime rate in our communities? Are immigrants more likely to commit crimes than citizens?

I wasn’t at all sure what the studies show so I set out to determine for myself the answer to the questions. These are important questions because our immigration policies should be informed by the facts. As Christians, especially, we should be guided by truth.

Continue reading “What the Studies Say on Immigration and Crime”

No Man’s Land

I try to stay out of the political fray. I have my views, but I also know well that reasonable people can differ on many things. Most of the political pundits are polarizing. I do not want to be polarizing. I think most people are earnest in their choices and do not take lightly the positions they take. I would rather add to the dialogue than entrench and through stones.

I am more interested in bridging gaps than creating them. Abortion is one of those things as to which people have tried to carve out a middle ground without success. I agree with freedom of choice. I agree that women should be able to control their bodies and not be intruded upon by other people or government. We have a history, a human history, of abuse toward women by men and government.

I think we have emerged out the other side of that dark reality for the most part, though men still prey on women sometimes. More accurately, people still prey on people. It is the sad human condition since the time of Cain and Abel. The powerful prey on and take advantage of the weak. Parents abuse children, men abuse women, sometimes women abuse men, the criminal among us take advantage of the weak in body or mind. Government and the people should stand up against these injustices and seek to prevent violence and crime and bring to justice those who perpetuate it.

The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell has been playing out in recent weeks in Pennsylvania. Dr. Gosnell is a doctor who for many, many years performed abortions in an abortion clinic in Philadelphia that catered to the poor women in that area. He is accused of negligently performing procedures on at least one woman who died at his hands. There were other women who died at his clinic, but charges are only pending in regard to one. He is also accused of killing in astoundingly brutal and cold blooded ways babies who were born alive. These babies were “allowed” to live for twenty minutes or more, moving their hands and feet and crying, before he or someone at his direction took scissors and “snipped” their heads off. (They referred to the “procedure” as “snipping”.)

This is where the intellectual debate on abortion begins to come unglued. Roe v. Wade carved out the first trimester of pregnancy as a no man’s land between human life and something else. Since that time, the line has been advanced to the point of birth. Now, we have playing out in a court room in Pennsylvania a murder trial, and the only reason it is a murder trial is that the babies were “allowed” to live beyond birth, even if for only 20 minutes.

The dialogue is fascinating if not brutal, cold and frightful. Because the Doctor was negligent in performing the medical procedure of abortion, the fetuses were born alive; he is now being tried for the murder of babies. Four of them to be exact.

What turns an aborted fetus into a baby? The transition from fetus to child is minutes. Twenty minutes before birth, it is a surgical procedure; twenty minutes after birth it is cold blooded murder.

The Gosnell case is messy and makes a real mess of the abortion debate. It is hard to keep it at the intellectual level when babies’ heads are being snipped off as they lie on the table moving their limbs, breathing, trying to see the faces of the people who would otherwise be there to comfort and hold them. This case is hard to stomach and hard to fit into the intellectual boxes when the facts stare you in the face. The middle ground in the abortion debate is a no man’s land that is extremely uncomfortable to abide after reading the details of this case.

At least one reporter has completely changed positions on abortion as a result of covering the case. For an account, read and watch the interview of JD Mullane.