Inasmuch as the vast majority of post-1970 immigrants -- legal immigrants -- are poor, non-white and come from countries with far worse crime rates than our own, that's at least counterintuitive.
The main evidence cited in support of the claim that immigrants commit less crime than Americans is a moronic point about cities with a lot of immigrants seeming to have low crime rates. Check and mate, Mr. Trump!
The "New York sure seems safe to me!" argument is like the "Saturday Night Live" sketch of Bill O'Reilly arguing that New York has more people than California.
Bill O'Reilly: You also say that California has more people than any other state. I say New York state has more people -- tell me where I'm wrong!
Thomas Woodward: (confused) Um ... well ... Bill ... actually, California is the most populous state.
Bill O'Reilly: I don't know, counselor. I live in New York, and I walk down the streets every day, and there's people everywhere! You can't move! You know what I mean? Last week, I was in California, went to the beach in Malibu. Nobody! Practically empty. So, for my money, New York's got more people. Probably New Jersey, too.
Thomas Woodward: Well, Bill, your own experience notwithstanding, each of the last four censuses has clearly shown --
Bill O'Reilly: Sorry, counselor, not buying it! Not buying it!
Thomas Woodward: Bill, I swear to you, California is our largest state!
Bill O'Reilly: Look, Mr. Woodward, you've got your opinion. I've got mine. We're not gonna settle this tonight.
That's a comedy sketch. But now we're getting it as a serious argument in defense of mass immigration from the Third World.
Reason magazine boasts, for example, that El Paso, Texas, has a large Hispanic population and yet El Paso "is among the safest big cities in America."
In fact, however, El Paso's "safe city" ranking is based on an outdated FBI crime index that includes only eight crime categories, excluding such crimes as drunk driving, narcotics offenses and weapons violations. When the FBI's more complete crime index is used, El Paso has a higher crime rate than the national average.
The reason crime has plummeted around the nation in the last few decades is aggressive policing, increased prison sentences and the expansion of concealed carry permits. (All policies currently being jettisoned by liberals.)
According to The New York Times, the drop in crime in New York City during Giuliani's first two years as mayor aloneaccounted for 35 percent of the reduction in the national crime rate.
The second main line of attack on the idea that immigrants are committing prodigious amounts of crime are the apocryphal "studies."
The two researchers whose work is cited over and over again for the proposition that immigrants are less criminal than Americans are Alex Piquero, criminology professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Bianca Bersani, sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Pew cites their studies -- and everyone in the media cites Pew, leading to headlines like these:
"UT Dallas prof finds immigrant kids less likely to commit serious crimes, re-offend" -- The Dallas Morning News
"UMass Boston Prof: Stereotype of 'Criminal Immigrant' Doesn't Hold Up" -- Targeted News Service
"Surprise! Donald Trump is wrong about immigrants and crime" -- The Washington Post
Curiously, we are never shown the actual studies, but simply told -- with some heat -- "studies show!"
I looked up some of these alleged studies this weekend. They're all hidden behind ridiculous Internet paywalls. I was often only the sixth person to read them.
It turns out that neither Piquero nor Bersani compared immigrant crime to "the overall population" -- as the British Guardian recently claimed in an article purporting to prove Donald Trump wrong. Rather, they compare immigrants' crime rate to the crime rate of America's most criminally inclined subgroups.
Thus, for example, once you get past the paywall, you will find that Piquero and Bersani's joint study, "Comparing Patterns and Predictors of Immigrant Offending Among a Sample of Adjudicated Youth," used as its base group "adolescents who were found guilty of a serious offense."
THAT'S NOT A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF AMERICANS! It's a representative sample of teenagers who are convicted criminals.
Similarly, professor Bersani's oft-cited, but never-read study, "An Examination of First and Second Generation Immigrant Offending Trajectories," looked at a population group that included "an over-sample of Hispanic and African-American youth."
Instead of immigrants who are less crime-prone than our native blacks and Hispanics, we were hoping for immigrants less criminal than our Norwegians.
True, as Bersani explains, "because many immigrants initially settle in disadvantaged environments and are exposed to a number of crime-inducing risk factors, their experiences may be similar to many native-born minorities -- particularly the African-American population."
But here's an idea: How about NOT taking in immigrants who are poor, uneducated, come from dysfunctional families and settle in disadvantaged environments?
Amazingly, Bersani's study also produced this startling result: There is very little difference in crime rates between young native whites and blacks. Why no headlines about that? Instead of looking at "studies," how about we just count the number of immigrants arrested, convicted and imprisoned in America?
Even if the immigrants' crime rate were the same as "the overall population" -- and it's not -- we're supposed to be admitting immigrants who are better than us, not "six of one, half dozen of the other."
Why? Because we're picking them. If the food in your refrigerator is rotten, you don't go out and buy more rotten food on the grounds that it's no more rotten than the food you already have. This is the new food you're picking and you're paying for.
Instead, we're bringing in legal immigrants -- forget illegals -- who are way more criminal than us, notwithstanding phony studies no one bothers to read.