Mass Immigration and Personal Security / Street Crime

Open borders are welcoming dangerous criminals. A crime-minded foreigner envisions the American Dream as a different sort of opportunity than the one imagined by immigration sentimentalists. He sees cash and expensive items available for easy theft, a market for selling his illegal drugs and a police system that cuts enormous slack to obvious illegals. Along with the material affluence, he may imagine women and children are easy targets for his sexual desires in America’s open culture.

Immigrant crime is not much discussed in polite company, since the subject violates the romantic fable of the earnest hard-working newcomer, even the so-called “undocumented.” However, in addition to their unlawful entrance or visa overstays, many illegal aliens are variously engaged in identity theft, fraudulent social security numbers and ID cards, tax evasion or driving without a valid license or insurance – crimes which are practically made necessary by their unlawful status.

The availability of false documents within immigrant communities facilitates criminal aliens’ escape from law enforcement, which may only follow the undeterring “catch and release” policy.

Determined criminals take advantage of our laxity: “In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens,” according to the Congressional testimony of John Morga-nelli, a Pennsylvania District Attorney. Further, more than one-quarter of federal prisoners are illegal aliens. The percentage is similar for Los Angeles County’s jail, where criminal aliens cost the county over $150 million annually.

The likelihood of a person being affected by foreign criminals has increased with growing immigration anarchy. Ethnic gangs have moved in all over America, turning pleasant American communities into mean streets filled with theft and violence. Highways are more dangerous too, as the number of illegal alien drunk drivers has increased. Nearly half of California’s drunk driving arrests in 2001 were Latino men, and the state’s percentage of fatal hit-and-run accidents in that year was more than twice the national average, namely 7.8 percent versus 3.8 percent nationally.

The future doesn’t look hopeful since common-sense proposals for improved enforcement and identification have been received unenthusiastically in Congress. Worsening threats to Americans’ safety are another instance of how uncontrolled immigration does not serve the national interest.

– Brenda Walker reports on immigration and crime at: www.LimitsToGrowth.org and www.ImmigrationsHumanCost.org.

Endnotes:

A criminal looks at America, from the book Another Mexico.

Testimony of District Attorney John M. Morganelli before the House Subcommittee on immigration, Border, Security and Claims.
“Unfortunately, the majority of illegal aliens who are here are engaged in criminal activity. Identity theft, use of fraudulent social security numbers and green cards, tax evasion, driving without licenses represent some of the crimes that are engaged in by the majority of illegal aliens on a daily basis merely to maintain and hide their illegal status. In addition, violent crime and drug distribution and possession is also prevalent among illegal aliens. Over 25% of today’s federal prison population are illegal aliens. In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens.”

County calls for layoffs, deep cut – Supervisors try to fill $804 million shortfall, By Troy Anderson, Whittier Daily News, Monday, April 14, 2003.
“Los Angeles County officials released a $16.5 billion budget plan Monday calling for $467.2 million in cuts in spending and 2,158 fewer employees and warned that far more drastic actions might become necessary…
Antonovich said the cost of illegal immigration is catching up with government…
Medical and mental- health services provided to illegal immigrants total more than $360 million,’ Antonovich said. ‘Criminal aliens cost Los Angeles County taxpayers more than $150 million.'”

Study: Illegal aliens drain county funds, by Lisa Wahla, Antelope Valley Press December 26, 2000.
“Almost one-fourth of county jail inmates are subject to deportation, a population costing Los Angeles taxpayers more than $150 million a year, the Sheriff’s Department reported.
The recently released study found that 23% of county inmates fall under the “deportable criminal alien” category, which includes illegal immigrants and legal immigrants who have committed serious crimes and therefore lost their legal status…
Another key problem for the county, according to the Sheriff’s Department report, is the high rate of recidivism for criminal illegal residents.
Forty-five percent of criminal illegal immigrants are re-arrested after their release, with more than 80% of those offenses occurring in L.A. County, said Bob Mimura, head of the countywide criminal justice coordinating committee.”

A troubling trend: Hispanics and DWI – Latinos account for nearly half of 2002 Austin arrests,By Claire Osborn and Andy Alford, Austin American-Statesman, July 20, 2003.
“…Austin’s statistics are not unique.
In California, 48 percent of drunken driving arrests in 2001 were of Latino men, according to that state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Figures from 2002 were not available.
Latinos make up roughly 21 percent of the California driving population.
‘The profile of a drunk driver in California is a young Hispanic male, and I bet you have a similar situation all over the Southwest,’ UT’s Caetano said.”

California’s hit-and-run crisis – More flee fatal accidents here than any other state, by Michael Cabanatuan, Erin McCormick, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, July 27, 2003.
“After falling for years, the number of hit-and-run accidents has risen dramatically in California — and a greater percentage of drivers flee the scenes of fatal crashes here than in any other state in the nation, a Chronicle analysis of traffic accident data shows…
Their deaths are part of a disturbing trend. The number of fatal hit-and-run traffic deaths statewide jumped by 19 percent from 1999 to 2001, federal statistics show. Nearly 300 people are killed annually in hit-and-run accidents in the state.
Hit-and-runs accounted for 7.8 percent of the state’s fatal crashes in 2001, the latest year for which figures are available from the U.S. Transportation Department. The figure is more than twice the national average of 3.8 percent – – and a full percentage point higher than the next-highest state, Arizona…
Law enforcement officers and traffic safety experts point to several possible reasons. An abundance of unlicensed drivers, the proliferation of wide, busy thoroughfares and intersections, California’s car culture, fear of strict penalties for drunken driving and the large number of drivers driving without auto insurance all share the blame.
One explanation that comes up repeatedly among traffic safety experts is California’s high number of unlicensed drivers — primarily undocumented residents who cannot legally be licensed and drivers with suspended or expired licenses…”

Map of USA with prevalence of hit-and-run fatalities.

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