Gary Palmer: Show me the facts | TheUnion.com

Gary Palmer: Show me the facts

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Gary Palmer

I know, there is no point in mentioning facts these days, but this one is important, so here it is: unauthorized immigrants may have lower crime rates than our own entrenched population of citizens and legal immigrants.

Here is a quote from FactCheck.org: "Alex Nowrasteh, with the libertarian Cato Institute, analyzed the Texas data to make a comparison of immigrants in the country illegally and native-born residents. In a recent post he noted that in 2015 Texas police made 815,689 arrests of native-born Americans, 37,776 arrests of immigrants in the country illegally and 20,323 arrests of legal immigrants. Given the relative populations for each group, he wrote, "The arrest rate for illegal immigrants was 40 percent below that of native-born Americans.

In addition, he wrote, the homicide arrest rate for native-born Americans was "about 46 percent higher than the illegal immigrant homicide arrest rate."

Of course, that is only one study.

This is all pretty silly. It’s an old political gambit to recruit supporters by making them feel victimized by the opposition. Both Democrats and Republicans do it.

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The same article at FactCheck.org pointed out that the situation is somewhat murky. Good statistics are hard to come by. But it's not nice to knock our fellow humans just because we may not like them, or Democrats. It can cause a lot of needless hardship. If we can admit that would-be immigrants may be no more dangerous than we are, it doesn't make as much sense to lock up parents and children in separate facilities.

The country we live in becomes stranger by the day.

Yesterday we heard reports of an online site asserting that John McCain wore an ankle bracelet because he is a violent criminal and the devil, while Barack and Hillary lunch on small children that they maintain for that purpose. Vampire stories? Was that a whiff of Putin's aftershave drifting past?

The same day I read the article by Terry McLaughlin asserting that the creator of Dilbert concluded that the Democratic party wants Democrats to feel victimized, that 5,000 per day are walking away from the party, and that undocumented immigrants are more dangerous than us.

This is all pretty silly. It's an old political gambit to recruit supporters by making them feel victimized by the opposition. Both Democrats and Republicans do it.

The Dems moan that the new tax break just benefits the wealthy and the rest of us are suckers. The Republicans wail that the Chinese are screwing us in trade. There is nothing wrong with such claims where they contain some truth.

But when it comes to politicians and opinionated columnists, I'm from Missouri.

Show me the facts. Don't yank my chain.

Gary B. Palmer lives in Nevada City.

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