Friday, August 8, 2008

Immigrants and Crime

Talking with liberals can be very annoying.They are more likely to dismiss an idea or impression with a label.Racist, sexist, homophobic are labels that tend to put a damper on discussions. It has been years since I have accused anyone of being anti Jewish. What I do instead if Israel is being discussed is to find a country facing similar problems and contrasting their treatment in the media. Sudan, which has an Arab minority ruling a Black minority provides such contrasts. I find that this is much more effective in making debating points than a dismissive label.
Many who oppose illegal immigration are accustomed to derisive labels.Calling someone racist or xenophobic may stifle discussion, but it does not resolve any issues.
Where I live, immigrants are a significant percentage of the population. Every mayor of New York in the thirty years I have been here has publicly promised that municipal government would not enforce immigration laws. In practice, it seems that enforcement of drug laws is likewise lax. It seems like a repudiation of his oath for a mayor to publicly repudiate immigration law . But hey, this isn't America, its New York.
Many opponents of illegal immigration say that illegals commit a disproportionate percentage of crime. Some would even say that legal immigrants are also overrepresented in the ranks of criminals. I do not have a hard time believing that. In any country, there will be a small percentage of the population that seeks its fortune abroad. Those who choose to emmigrate are likely to be more aggressive and entrepreneurial. They are likely to be more willing to take risks than those who choose to remain in the mother country. There are positive expressions for all of these qualities. People who fit this psychological profile are more likely to try their hand at business and to survey a landscape for business opportunities. I have seen many people who had only the most rudimentary command of English who earned a very good living. My grandfather was such a man. He was ambitious and not fearful of hard work. He had a fourth grade education and powerful motivation. America was good to him.
The same qualities that make a good entrepreneur can make a good criminal. A criminal has a drive to search for opportunities. A criminal thinks creatively and analytically in seeking new opportunities. What differs is the moral choices that he or she is willing to make. Illegal immigrants have already decided to knowingly break laws that restrict their entry into the United States. They have chosen to live with the constant fear of deportation. They are psychologically conditioned by their choices be less averse than others to make illegal choices. The combination of being adventurous enough to seek opportunity abroad and willingness to break laws with serious enforcement consequences would seem to yield a higher percentage of criminals in this sector of the population.
A large percentage of undocumented aliens are men who arrive by themselves. Some are married, and the vast majority seek female companionship. Language barriers, immigration problems and low wages present obstacles to these individuals settling into stable relationships. This would seem to feed into prostitution. It might also push a small unstable minority towards sex crimes.
New York presents ample opportunities for those who want to study the psychological profiles and behavioral range of illegal immigrants. New York and some other large cities have practically rolled out the welcome mat for illegals.
Most Americans want the possibility of immigration to exist. Almost all Americans want illegal immigration stopped. It does have an adverse effect on crime statistics and it does have a depressing effect on wages. The statement that there are certain jobs Americans won't do is fraudulent. An illegal sharing an apartment with eight wage earning housemates has more flexibility in accepting low pay than does a couple with young children.
America's security, safety and prosperity depend upon the security of its borders.The means exist to secure our borders The need is urgent. Is the will there?

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