O'Reilly's Non-Existent Immigrant Crime Wave

Bill O'Reilly at Fox News has been peddling his immgrant crime wave bunk. There is no immigrant crime wave.

I've been pointing this out with statistics since 2007.

Crime is down in Arizona and even in border towns like El Paso.

I'm not sure who still listens to O'Reilly, but it's worth nipping this one in the bud.

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    Are Arizona's crime rates usually... (none / 0) (#1)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:48:58 AM EST
    ... significantly higher than other states for some categories?  It's great that the levels there are improving, but if the 'crimes-per-100,000' numbers for certain classes of crimes are still higher in Arizona than in most other states, then it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that folks in AZ are getting testy and impatient about their various crime levels.

    A False Arguement (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by john horse on Sun May 23, 2010 at 07:32:51 AM EST
    Is the crimes per 100,000 numbers higher in Arizona then the rest of the nation?  If it is higher, then I would conclude that this was caused by something other than the increase in immigration because statistically there is no correlation between the increase in our immigrant population and the crime rate.  BTD and Jeralyn have done a good job of demolishing that myth.

    But it's a complicated issue. (none / 0) (#5)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 23, 2010 at 09:52:42 AM EST
    From the LA Times story that Jeralyn cites:

    "As the ports of entry and some of the other choke points have locked down, that's raised the stakes," said Lt. Jeff Palmer, head of the Pima County Sheriff's Border Crime Unit, which patrols the deserts between Tucson and Mexico. "People are more willing to commit violent acts to get their materials across."

    That may be what's happening in Cochise County, a swath of rugged desert in the southeastern corner of the state that has been a favorite path for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers since the federal government fortified the California border in the 1990s.

    Although Arizona's crime rate has gone down over the past few years, the crime rates in other states like CA have gone down much further during that same period of time.  As I understand it, for the past few years, Arizona has had just about the highest crime rate in the country for things like property crime and vehicle theft.  

    I think that the best way to argue against the "blame immigration" echo chamber might be to identify the actual cause(s) of the higher statistics.  But what are those actual causes?


    No, the best way to argue against (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by john horse on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:52:19 PM EST
    the "blame immigration" echo chamber is to provide statistics showing that the immigrant "crime wave" is a myth.  

    As far as what causes crime, I think Jeralyn nails it:

    Crime is the result of myriad conditions, from poverty to drug and alcohol abuse to a variety of other factors. Immigration is not one of them.

    O'Reilly (none / 0) (#3)
    by rdandrea on Sun May 23, 2010 at 08:46:23 AM EST
    Is still the most highly rated Cable "news" show in his time slot by a long shot.  That means a lot of people still listen to him, which makes him so much the more dangerous.

    It's not just O'Reilly (none / 0) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 23, 2010 at 08:56:54 AM EST
    It's an article of faith across all of Fox.  And it's not just Fox, either.  You hear it popping up across all the channels from various commentators and guests and on-air people.

    Not that any of them have actually looked into it.  THey're taking the word of the Arizona governor and various other Arizona pols.

    The danger (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by mexboy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 02:04:10 PM EST
    is that they stir up feeling of anger, resentment and hatred towards a particular community, and when the masses are worked up we get an environment in which atrocities to other human beings are not only tolerated, they are demanded.

    Since there is no way of knowing who is undocumented and who is, every Latino becomes suspect. O'Reilly and his ilk are responsible for their part in it.

    I read a definition of evil by,  John Bradshaw in the book, People of the LIe. He defined evil as knowing you are doing wrong and doing it anyway. Makes sense to me.


    I thought that was Scott Peck (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:15:52 PM EST
    Also, there's always the issue of degree of evil..on that slippery slope of slippery slopes.

    I imagine that in the last decade there's had to have been a major upswing in anxiety in places like Arizona due to all the daily-reported horror stories about the cartel wars going on in Mexico. Due to proximity, if for no other reasons..

    And of course, as we all know, Fox is the scare-mongering Republic of Fear come to life: commies in the Whitehouse, terrorists knockin' at the door..time for all decent, hard working white folk to stand up and be counted! (O'Reilly's bread and butter.) The lure of O'Reilly and others is they've got all the (simplistic, black and white) answers..This approach holds a certain comfort for some folks. It simplifies an overwhelming, chaotic world to formulaic size.


    You're right. (none / 0) (#11)
    by mexboy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:06:57 PM EST
    Scott Peck is the author.

    Great. great book (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:51:16 PM EST
    though I believe it's by Scott Peck.

    But there are very, very, very few of those people.  A minister once said to me, after hearing some tale of woe from me about having been wronged, "You know, everybody thinks they're doing the right thing."

    I think that's true.  Doesn't make what they're doing "right," but the vast, vast, vast majority of people, even politicians, think they're doing "the right thing" for the good of all, even when they lie through their teeth.

    Worth thinking about if you actually want to understand where they're coming from.


    My understanding of them is different. (none / 0) (#14)
    by mexboy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:32:33 AM EST
    Do you really think O'Reilly doesn't know better? All he'd have to do is do a google search, or have one of his producers do it for him. How long do you think he would be on the air?

    I think a lot of people, including politicians, do know they are doing wrong and causing people harm but they don't care because it keeps them in power. It gets them what they want.

    I think that if some politicians really thought they were doing the right thing for others they would put their jobs on the line for the greater good. I don't see it. I see a lot of greedy, power hungry people playing a dirty game for their own benefit.


    Didn't say (none / 0) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 25, 2010 at 07:40:41 AM EST
    "doing the right thing for others," said "doing the right thing."

    And lying and/or distorting the truth is certainly part of that.  You lie when you tell your mom you like her new hat-- and you think you're doing the right thing.


    The point of this is? (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Sun May 23, 2010 at 05:15:09 PM EST
    Is this all to say that the US should have open borders?  Then let the Democratic Party say so and make it their election platform rather than not enforce the laws that exist.

    The point of this (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jondee on Sun May 23, 2010 at 05:27:23 PM EST
    is the scare-mongering, demagoguery and wedge-issue pimping of clueless conservatives, who have no intention or plan for doing anything about their latest simple-minded bumpersticker: "Open Borders"..other than to continue to desperately cast about in search of things to flog those on the other side of the aisle with.

    What's with the open borders talking point? (none / 0) (#12)
    by mexboy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:20:07 PM EST
    It seems to be popping up more and more. I've not heard or read the Democratic Party  claiming to be for open borders, but that seems to be a first line of attack against any discussion on immigration reform or civil justice for immigrants.  It is also directed at individuals who have a different point of view than the Republicans, such as this case.

    My point was not even about immigrants, it was about Latinos in general being perceived as "illegals" due to our appearance and the peril it puts us in.


    It seems that the "open boders" idea... (none / 0) (#15)
    by EL seattle on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:05:27 AM EST
    ... is not unheard of in certain Democratic circles. (Link: Michael Lind - Salon - 5/4/2010)  Liberaltarians??????

    But that's just some individuals.  Exactly what the Democratic Party is in favor of in regards to all this is not to clear to me.  That whole Senate immigration reform plan seemed to vanish from the radar faster than "Furry Vengeance".


    How does a Libertarian become a Democrat (none / 0) (#17)
    by mexboy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:29:12 PM EST
    in your post?

    This from the article you quoted:

    While the liberaltarians form a new fantasy-based community, dreaming of a utopian world without borders...

    Forty-four percent of Democrats favor decreasing immigration, compared to 37 percent who want to keep it at present levels. Only a tiny 15 percent of Democrats want it increased.

    If you want to make an argument against the Democrats do it with facts not distortions. And if you're going to link an article make sure it supports your argument.


    Also from the Salon piece... (none / 0) (#19)
    by EL seattle on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:10:32 PM EST
    Some progressives have already bought into libertarian ideology on this subject. Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein recently wrote an approving review of a book by a right-wing libertarian, Jason L. Riley, titled "Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders."

    For what it's worth, I didn't write the Salon web piece, and I've never met the author (or Salon's editor for that matter).  So I have no idea which of their facts are distortions.  

    I doubt if there's a going to be a real merger between liberals and libertasrians.  But it sure looks like some folks have considered various possibilities at some point or other, at least in regards to some topics.  For instance...

    Link: Mother Jones - Kevin Drum - April 10, 2010


    I read Ezra Klein's review (none / 0) (#21)
    by mexboy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:28:31 PM EST
    And there is nothing in it advocating open borders.

    Read for yourself

    I was glad to see that Riley engaged, at length, with the work of Harvard's George Borjas, whose sterling reputation as a leading economist has made him the most compelling advocate for tighter borders.

    As Riley persuasively argues, however, the positive effects of immigration on the wages of immigrants are huge. That's why immigrants choose what is, in many cases, an awful, lonesome, and frequently undignified life hundreds or thousands of miles from their families.

    Well, I read the linked article (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 24, 2010 at 01:15:45 PM EST
    that has all of O'Rielly's quotes, and I don't see any that equate to the article's "summary description" of O'Rielly's quotes.

    iow, I don't see any O'R quotes that say "[AZ's] exploding crime rate [...] crime wave in Arizona"

    What his quotes do say is, for example: "New York City, with six times as many residents as Phoenix, had just 16,000 more reported crimes." and "The crime's through the roof."

    Which is not an unreasonable conclusion to arrive at if his NYC quote is accurate.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#18)
    by mexboy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:45:05 PM EST
    You can't make someone see what they don't want to see even if it is right in front of their face.

    You seem to forget O'Reilly works in a visual medium. The pitch of his voice, a certain look and his body posture will convey the real message stronger than mere words read on a blog. That is why actors get the big money. The words on the script are very few, but the way they interpret them tells the story.

    BusinessWeek article here:

    Only a small percentage of communication involves actual words: 7%, to be exact. In fact, 55% of communication is visual (body language, eye contact) and 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, volume, tone of voice).

    ok, if you say so. (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:22:51 PM EST
    Facts are so inconvenient, huh? (none / 0) (#22)
    by mexboy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:31:00 PM EST
    They have a tendency to regress one to 3rd grade arguments

    Yep, you got it. (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:34:23 PM EST