The current Oval Office occupant initiated his campaign for president by vilifying undocumented immigrants and their supposed criminal propensities. He has not only continued his mendacious attacks on the undocumented, but is now pursuing an official policy of public scapegoating of a group of people who, in fact, commit crimes at a far lower rate than native-born citizens.
Statistics from the Cato Institute and other studies confirm that attempts to associate immigrants, documented or not, with higher crime rates are false. In particular, the Cato study finds that documented immigrants are incarcerated at a rate of 0.47 percent, the undocumented at 0.85 percent, and the native born at 1.53 percent. However, when undocumented people detained while awaiting deportation are excluded, their incarceration rate falls to 0.50 percent.
These statistics raise several questions. Whom should we fear more — undocumented people or native-born citizens, who are three times as likely to commit crimes? Am I more likely to be killed by a hardworking but undocumented Mexican, or a rampaging native-born white supremacist? How depraved must one be in order to scapegoat a vulnerable group of people in order to monger unwarranted hostility toward those same people, all for the sake of political gain?
Robert McDonald, Richland