Friday, May 25, 2007

Whoa there, Perfesser!

I’m gonna have to report two researchers to Jamie Whyte, author of a delightful book called “Crimes against Logic.” (I recommend you get a copy and read it.) I think Mr. Whyte just might have some material for a sequel.

The culprits are Drs. Ruben G. Rumbaut and Walter E. Ewing. Their crime might have something to do with the groups they were working for when they wrote their research; The American Immigration Law Foundation and The Immigration Policy Center. You’ll see why I make that allegation in a moment.

So, these two perfessers wrote a scholarly piece called “The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation.” Be careful when you pick it up; you’ll get a hernia from all the baggage attached to the research!

This report received a fair amount of ink in February and March as newspapers and magazines reported in similar fashion to The Arizona Star who started their article on February 27th with this sentence: “Immigrants – both legal and illegal – do not raise the rate of crime in the United States.”

You can’t blame the press; they were just quoting Dr. Rumbaut in the text of the report itself: “The problem of crime and incarceration in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, REGARDLESS OF THEIR LEGAL STATUS.” (pg.14, emphasis mine)

The problem is, the study itself did not differentiate between those who are here legally and illegal aliens. They simply studied foreign born criminals and drew their own conclusions about immigration status. You can’t blame them really; few statistics are kept by status. (See my blog, “Hard to say”, for more on that subject.)

But that didn’t stop them from touting this as “proof” that illegal aliens are safer to live with than the rest of the population. And the press loved that tidbit of good news.

So, I’m accusing them of this crime against logic, that the foreign born crime rate DOES NOT equal the illegal alien crime rate. It’s a non sequitur.

I might suggest that the authors study some other data such as the Government Accountability Office report to Congress in April of 2005 about illegal aliens arrested in the US. (Report GAO-05-646R). That report studied 55,000 known illegals and found they were arrested an average of eight times each!

Or perhaps they would enjoy reading Criminal Alien Nation to review the data leading to the conclusion that 27% of all prisoners in federal custody are criminal illegal aliens.

Or the Violent Crimes Institute study that reveals that 2% of all illegal aliens are sexual predators, with an average of four victims each.

Or perhaps Dr. Rumbaut could hop in his Prius and drive from UC-Irvine to the Costa Mesa City Jail and review the police reports. The full time ICE agent will tell him that one in ten people booked are illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico. He can put in his laptop that Costa Mesa has a population of 110,000 people, 30% of whom are Hispanic.

I hope they were well-paid for their work. I’m sure their sponsors are pleased. I also hope that people will consider the source when they read such “scholarly works”.

By the way, if you take their report at face value, it suggests that anchor babies are a dangerous bunch. But alas, the good doctors inform us that they are merely victims of poor assimilation.

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