Opinons are not facts “Violence in America: We want to be safe but we aren’t” published on the Viewpoints page in the April 15 issue of the Hastings Journal describes recent violent crimes, …
Opinons are not facts
“Violence in America: We want to be safe but we aren’t” published on the Viewpoints page in the April 15 issue of the Hastings Journal describes recent violent crimes, gives statistics from the FBI and the city of Chicago about violent crimes, then gets to immigration along the US Mexican boarder and asks the question: “Are they going to come here and be law abiding people?” The author says the Biden administration is releasing far more asylum applicants into the U.S. than the previous administration and states these asylum immigrants will be dispersing across our country. The article states many third world houses in Brazil, South Africa and many places in Mexico are surrounded by walls or fences and concludes: “If we don’t do better with our security on the border look for most houses and subdivisions in America to follow this same course. And don’t be surprised.”
The author gives no hard evidence or statistics that his conclusion is based on fact. There have been many studies that compare the violent crime rates for US citizens verses violent crime rates for both legal and illegal immigrants. These studies are very difficult to do well because most crime statistics do not include the citizenship or the legal status of the person committing the crime. Furthermore, the border issue is highly political you have skeptic of what politicians say about it.
The state of Texas does record the legal status of the person committing violent crimes. After review for scientific merit, the Texas Department of Public Safety granted a research team from the U of Wisconsin – Madison access to case processing information for all arrests recorded between 2012 and 2018 in the state of Texas. The researchers found that compared to immigrants, U.S. citizens were 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent felonies, 2.5 times more likely to arrested for felony drug charges and 4 times more likely to be arrested for felony property crimes. The study has been peer reviewed and published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 22, 2020.
Having lived in Tucson, AZ since 1974 I am keenly aware of the politics regarding our southern border and I was dismayed to read the article under discussion. While the viewpoint is an opinion page, and opinions are not facts. Still many, likely most, people believe what they read in a newspaper. With a highly political topic like our immigration policy someone presenting an opinion about it should be in closer touch with the facts than the author of the article.
Gary Kordosky, PhD Hastings High school class of 1960