Minneapolis Summer 2016: Somali Immigrant Neighborhood Shows Less Crime, Not More
Donald Trump and his followers love to proclaim that immigrants are a major source of crime in the United States. Trump has declared that “crime is through the roof!” because of immigration, when actually crime rates are down, and when actually immigrants are less likely, not more likely, than native-born Americans to commit violent crimes and to be incarcerated.
Here at Irregular Times, we’ve been receiving visitors who exhibit a particular paranoia about immigrants from the African nation of Somalia. These visitors insist that Somali-settled communities of the United States have experienced crime spikes. When we demonstrate that actually, crime rates have fallen in these communities since Somali immigrants settled there, our paranoid visitors pipe up to declare that if things aren’t bad yet, they will surely get worse in the near future, because they must, because African immigrants can’t possibly do anything good for the United States.
As racist paranoids like our anti-Somali visitors keep waiting for a Somali immigrant crime spike, I’ve decided to periodically return to “Little Mogadishu.” Little Mogadishu (also known as Cedar-Riverside) is the neighborhood with the highest concentration of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, Minnesota — which is in turn the city with the largest population of Somali immigrants in the entire United States. Back in December 2015, I used Minneapolis’ online crime mapping software to see whether Little Mogadishu had been experiencing high crime rates compared to other Minneapolis neighborhoods. It wasn’t then, and it hadn’t for all of 2015, or all of 2014, or all of 2013, or all of 2012. In February 2016 I looked again at Little Mogadishu and found that it still had fewer crimes than other Minneapolis neighborhoods.
Let’s look again and see whether the fantasies of our racist visitors have been realized yet.
Here’s the location of Little Mogadishu in Minneapolis:
And here, according to the Minneapolis Police Department’s RAIDS online data tool, is where crime has been concentrated over the last month. Blue indicates low-crime spots. Green and red indicate high-crime spots:
The neighborhood of Little Mogadishu hasn’t been and still isn’t where crime in Minneapolis tends to occur. Reality is inconsistent with the fevered dreams of anti-immigrant, anti-Somali, racist America.