Monday, March 27, 2006

Those criminal immigrants

TalkCheck recently caught KVI-AM radio talk-show host John Carlson -- the 2000 Republican nominee for governor of Washington state -- regurgitating more right-wing scapegoating nonsense regarding Hispanic immigrants, with a nice scent of race-baiting to boot:
CARLSON: I think what bothers people is not that we have Mexicans up here working, but that we have a lot of them staying, and we've seen a rise in crime and the affect on schools and other things, and taxpayer dollars and things like that.

As TalkCheck notes:
There's nothing new about using immigrants as scapegoats for a variety of society's ills, but Carlson managed to break entirely new ground by accusing them of causing a problem that doesn't even exist. Since the mid-nineties there's been nothing but good news about the crime rate in Washington State. In fact, statistics show that violent crime decreased by 30% from 1992 to 2000, a period that saw sustained increases in illegal immigration. Property crime fell by 16% over the same timeframe.

More interestingly, a number of different studies have found that there is no causal relationship between immigration and crime. In fact, those studies have shown that border states actually have a lower crime rate than non-border states.

Ah, but why should we let a few facts stand in the way of a nice ethnic wedge issue?

No comments: