Donald Trump Completely Wrong on Immigrants and Crime

Donald Trump isn’t just a raging bigot for his claim that Mexican immigrants to this country are rapists, he also has his factual claims completely wrong. As the Washington Post documents, illegal immigrants to this country are less likely to commit crimes than the general population (since they obviously don’t want to get caught and deported).

With all of the furor that resulted, it’s worth noting the two hallmarks of classic Donald Trump that emerged from his response. First, he unfailingly stood by the comments, despite the fallout. And second, he’s wrong.

On CNN on Wednesday night, he offered a defense to anchor Don Lemon.

“If you look at the statistics, of people coming … I didn’t say about Mexico, I say the illegal immigrants —if you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything, coming in illegally to the country, they’re mind-boggling,” he told Lemon.

Every part of that is incorrect. He did say his comments about Mexico — explicitly. And data show that new immigrants —  including illegal immigrants — are actually less likely to commit crime, not more.

To wit:

—”Foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their life course.” (Bianca Bersani, University of Massachusetts, 2014. Published in Justice Quarterly.)

Citing Bersani’s work, Pew Research created this graph, showing crime rates among the immigrant community.

“The crime rate among first-generation immigrants — those who came to this country from somewhere else — is significantly lower than the overall crime rate and that of the second generation,” they write.

And this exchange shows just how deeply dishonest Trump is:

How did Trump get a simple point so wrong? Consider the response he offered Lemon on his most contentious assertion. Trump offers a sort of ontological rationalization for the “rapists” claim: People are being raped, ergo it’s the immigrants’ fault.

Trump cited an article from Fusion. “Eighty percent of the women coming in … ” he says, trailing off. “You have to take a look at these stories. … It’s unbelievable, when you look at what’s going on. All I’m doing is telling the truth.”

Lemon correctly points out that the story was about immigrant women being raped. “Well,” Trump replies, “someone’s doing the raping, Don.” In apparent disbelief, Trump adds, “How can you say such a thing?”

The facts simply do not matter to Trump. They never have. And when called out for his lies, he dodges, obfuscates, tries to change the subject, attacks the person criticizing him — all of the classic tactics to avoid dealing with reality.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    Just remember: winning isn’t the most important thing. It’s the only thing.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Of course the Mexicans are rapists! Look at all the Mexicans they’re raping! We have to close our borders now, to keep the people that aren’t here out! Sure, their rapees will be trapped, but their misery is a small price to pay for my Nativism!

  • John Pieret

    all of the classic tactics to avoid dealing with reality

    Which he practices to only a marginally greater degree that the rest of the Republican clown car occupants.

  • marcus

    That’s all well and good, but what I want to know is…

    “Who’s doing the raping?! Who’s doing the raping?!”

    The Donald, 2015

  • StevoR

    Donald Trump Completely Wrong on Immigrants and Crime

    FIFY.

    Yeah predictable I know but someone had to say it.

  • Ryan Jean

    Interestingly, Trump the Tool did say that he was talking about illegal immigrants, not all, though I harbor no illusions that he likely believes it’s true of all. Functioning momentarily as advocatus diaboli, then, it seems that since *illegal* immigrants are, you know, here *illegally*, that they would therefore be automatically committing crime at a higher rate than the general population. Of course, I’m generally of the opinion that most of the immigration currently considered illegal shouldn’t be, in which case Trump’s specific comparison would fail in the manner indicated, and if talking specifically about violent crime then even that technicality wouldn’t save the argument.

    Also, I don’t know why it feels so strong to me, but I really hate the differentiation between “second-generation” and “native-born”. Second-generation *is* native-born, dammit! They are natural-born U.S. Citizens!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Ryan Jean “Also, I don’t know why it feels so strong to me, but I really hate the differentiation between “second-generation” and “native-born”. Second-generation *is* native-born, dammit! They are natural-born U.S. Citizens!”

    Sure, but back in my day, even the newest immigrants rushed to commit crimes at the rates of Americans! That it takes the Mexicans a full generation to get up to American crime rates just shows how shiftless and lazy they are. This is America! You can’t expect to have Americanness handed to you! You have to reach out and take it!

  • psweet

    I get the point about illegal immigrants by necessity breaking the law, but I believe if you look into it, you’ll find that simply being here illegally isn’t actually a criminal offense.

  • janiceclanfield

    “(since they obviously don’t want to get caught and deported).”

    Have you considered they don’t do criminal acts simply because they are good people?

    Really Ed…

  • marcus

    psweet @ 8 IA(obviously)NAL

    My understanding is that it is considered a civil offense.

  • Synfandel

    Since nearly all rapists are men or adolescent boys, maybe the solution is to limit immigration to only women and girls.

  • Synfandel

    @9 janiceclanfield wrote, “Have you considered they don’t do criminal acts simply because they are good people?”

    No doubt that is the case with most immigrants, as it is the case with most native born, but it’s unlikely that immigrants are statistically more ‘good’ or less ‘good’ than the population average. They’re people like the rest of us. A statistically significant difference in rate of offense probably has another explanation and Ed’s sound plausible.

  • naturalcynic

    Since nearly all rapists are men or adolescent boys, maybe the solution is to limit immigration to only women and girls.

    Since it’s usually the coyotes that are doing the raping, we just need a selective barrier to keep the coyotes out.

  • moarscienceplz

    #8 & #10

    According to this: Is Illegal Immigration a Crime?

    Improper Entry Is a Crime

    Unlawful Presence Is Not a Crime

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    I agree with the general thrust of this article, but living in Southern Az, many otherwise minor traffic incidents become a major hassle because of the rather high rate of hit and run in the area. Part of the issue is that there are a lot of poor people here who simply can’t afford the mandatory insurance, but a lot of the runners are illegals without a license or insurance.

    Hopefully, this will be remedied with the new procedures about not deporting illegals automatically for minor issues like this. (The local governments are slowly changing things such that if an illegal is caught, they are often given a chance to change their status to legal.)

  • thebookofdave

    Pfft! The Washington Post. Typical response for such a liberal-biased “news” outlet. Come back when you can cite a neutral source. You know, one with financial ties to Trump.

  • busterggi

    “And when called out for his lies, he dodges, obfuscates, tries to change the subject, attacks the person criticizing him — all of the classic tactics to avoid dealing with reality.”

    He really is the perfect GOP candidate.

  • marcus

    @14 Thanks.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Sure, he’s completely wrong, but that’s still not wrong enough to matter.