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Arizona’s 1070

September 12, 2010 12 comments

I keep hearing over and over that the main reason that has pushed Arizona to take immigration matters into their own hands is the “soaring crime in border states”.  Being the nerd that I am, I have decided to do some research and this is what I came up with:

  • Violent crime rates in Arizona are at their lowest point since 1983
  • Property crime rates in the last few years were the lowest since 1968
  • Violent and property crime rates in New Mexico, Texas and California dropped from 1998 through 2008

Another claim that i have heard is that there have been headless bodies found in the desert and John McCain has stated that Arizona is the second kidnapping capital in the world. Those articles will show you those claims are complete false.

Yet another claim made by Arizona’s Republican leadership is that illegal immigration is “out of control”.  Here’s what the New York Times had to say about that:

But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol…

“If an illegal immigrant commits a crime, this confirms our view that illegal immigrants are criminals.”  Ms. Gans said. “If an illegal immigrant doesn’t commit a crime, either they just didn’t get caught or it’s a fluke of the situation.”

“Their repeated characterization of illegal immigrants as criminals – easy to do since they broke immigration laws – makes it easy for people to ignore statistics.”

The statistics send me back to the drawing board.  If crime is down, and illegal immigration is down, then what’s the urgent matter that drove Arizona to take immigration reform into their own hands?  What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know your theory.

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