Book Trailer for Pilikia

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drop in Crime

The BBC reports on the amazing drop in U.S. crime that began about 1990 and continues to today. Read the article here: This phenomenon has been noted by many people before, so this is not news. The Freakonomics authors attribute the drop to the effect of legalized abortion. The BBC article lists abortion as one of ten factors that could cause the drop, but does not include illegal immigration in that list.

Why illegal immigration? In 1989, immigration laws were reformed to allow millions of illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship. That was followed by a huge wave of illegal immigration as the newly minted Americans brought their families here to join them. That wave coincides with the downturn in crime rates. If the crime rates are broken down by city (go to Wolfram Alpha and look up the rates for different cities), the results are striking. The cities closest to the Mexican border have the lowest crime rates. As you go farther north, the crime rates increase. The safest cities in the U.S. include San Diego, Phoenix, and El Paso. These are the very cities that see the most illegal immigration.

There are three reasons for illegal immigration: jobs, to unite families, and bureaucratic incompetence or delay. People who come for these first two reasons are not criminal types. They want a stable, crime-free place to live and raise their families. Nor do they want to call the attention of law enforcement to themselves. In fact, throughout American history, first generation immigrants have been the most law-abiding.

It has been estimated by the Texas Comptroller, that immigrants contribute $17 billion to the Texas economy, after subtracting the cost of health, education and social services. I, for one, believe these new immigrants, whether legal or illegal, not only make us richer, they make us safer.