From time to time our more conservative visitors ask us why we don’t cover the “fact” that America is facing a flood of illegal immigrants, or why we don’t cover the “fact” of an explosion in violence by illegal immigrants on America’s borders.
The reason we don’t cover these “facts” is that we cannot find any indication that they are actually, really, facts at all.
Just look at these two statistics, using the most recently available information from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration Yearbook and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports:
While conservatives are complaining that the number of new Border Patrol isn’t high enough for their tastes, there are more border patrol agents, and there is more funding for them, than in the past. Yet with more agents looking, and looking harder, to find illegal immigrants, fewer have been found in the U.S. in recent years. And there is no crime wave sweeping the border states (by the way, although state-by-state information is not yet available, preliminary data for 2004 show a decrease in violent crimes in the West, compared to 2003).
As a member of the reality-based community, I am always ready to change my mind when confronted with a new set of documented facts (please note, unsupported allegations do not count). That said, it doesn’t look to me as though the border region is suffering from any kind of new crime wave, or illegal immigration wave, or anything like that. In fact, the statistics seem to indicate that the situation is actually improving.
To my eye, this looks like a classic scare.