Friday, July 06, 2007

Don't bother us with facts - we're Republicans

Zachary at Internal Monologue links to Jeff Weintraub's post regarding immigration and crime. In case you've been listening to Fox News, it's not what you think.
[A]mong men age 18-39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the incarceration rate of the native-born is much higher than the incarceration rate of the foreign-born.

Immigrants in every ethnic group in the United States have lower rates of crime and imprisonment than do the native born. This is true for all immigrant groups ­- including the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who comprise most of the undocumented immigrants in the country. Even though immigrants from these countries are far more likely than natives to have less than a high-school education and to live in poverty, they are far less likely to be behind bars or to commit crimes. Moreover, teenage immigrants are much less likely than native-born adolescents to engage in risk behaviors such as delinquency, violence, and substance abuse that often lead to imprisonment.

The problem of violent crime in the United States is not caused by immigrants, regardless of their legal status. [....]

There are real dangers inherent in the myth that immigrants are more prone to criminality than are the native-born. [....] We, as sociologists, criminologists, legal scholars and other social scientists, both academics and practitioners in the criminal justice system, including prosecutors, police officers, and criminal attorneys, strongly urge state and national policymakers who are drafting laws that affect immigrants to base these laws on demonstrated facts rather than on false assumptions.
Basing laws on demonstrated facts rather than false assumptions - now where I have heard that one before? Isn't that how the Iraq War started? When the facts don't line up just so for the lizard-brain right, false assumptions will just have to do.

We see false assumptions every day. Fox News is telling us that socialized medicine will lead to more foreign born doctors, some of whom may be jihadists! So addition that hernia exam ("Turn your head and die, American devil!") you'll also be contributing to the downfall of Christianity when you pay your doctor.

Meanwhile, proto-fascist nativists are alienating more and more Hispanics, many of whom agree that our immigration laws need fixing. President Bush attracted 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004 - these days, only 11 percent of Hispanics identify themselves as Republicans, while three times as many lean Democrat.

Even more telling: all the Democratic contenders accepted invitations to address NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, held recently in Orlando.

All of the Republican candidates declined invitations to join a NALEO forum held a day earlier, citing scheduling conflicts.

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