So it occurred to me the other day that the key to getting ahead in a Republican primary is to be the most effective carnival barker at stoking the perpetual state of righteous indignation that the increasingly aging, white and rural isolationist suckers who make up what remains of the party (you know, the ones the richer wing grift off of) live in.
Right now, of course, the best barker is Donald Trump. Now, the Donald knows a thing or ten about grifting, one need look no further than Jim Byrne's The $1 League for a view of just how he operates among people at his economic level and above.
So, now that the Republican Party has been more or less neutered in treating gays and African Americans as the evil other to be feared (not that some candidates aren't trying, ahem, Piyush Jindal) we're back to race bating illegal immigrants.
“They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Mr.
Trump said about Mexican immigrants, adding, “some, I assume, are good
Which should sound familiar to anyone who has to put up with the crazy elderly uncle/aunt/grandparent/cousin who comes in from the sticks at holiday dinner (I'm assuming you've set their Fox News based e-mail forwards to go directly to your Junk folder and weeded them out of your Facebook feed at this point.)
But it does open the question, just what is the crime rate among illegal immigrants, anyway, and how does it compare to the non illegal population at large?
Well, I'm glad you asked that. I wanted to find that answer myself, and to at least get some statistical background on it, I had to dig through some research courtesy of another, even dumber, race bater, former Texas Governor and stem cell treatment recipient Rick Perry.
The Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that 1.7 million illegal immigrants reside in the state. Over the period of October 2008 to July 2014, there were roughly 204,000 arrests of immigrants, or 34,000 per year.
That's an arrest rate of 2% annually.
If we examine Texas arrest statistics, and you can pick your period here but I'm going to use 2013, of the 26.5 million legal residents, there were 967,470 arrests.
That's an arrest rate of 3.66% annually.
Now, you can slice or dice numbers as finely as you want, but if we focus on violent crimes, and take those numbers at face value, despite Politifact and the FBI telling us we shouldn't bother, the percentage of overall crimes committed by illegal aliens (defined as homicide, sex offenses and sexual assault) constitutes just 7.7% of the overall arrests of illegal aliens over that same time frame.
For legal Texas residents, violent crime arrests constituted 10.9% of all arrests in 2013.
I'm sure you aren't surprised that Trump and his ilk are wrong. But it's interesting to see just how wrong.
Happy Fourth of July everyone!