Illegals, Crime, and Money

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #1
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=739296#post739296

    This thread, in the Legal & Political forum over at The High Road, gives a pretty good analysis of the whole set of problems we face with illegal immigration. I had no idea of the size of the crime problems engendered by the cumulative policies and actions--or lack thereof--of the last 20 years or so.

    Warning: It's lengthy, but in order to give any sort of full story it needs to be.

    'Rat
     
  2. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    Atlanta
    #2
    Desertrat, thanks for the link. Been meaning to take the time to read this, finally got around to it.

    None of this surprises me. Interesting to note that when it comes to health care or safety features for cars, etc., the attitude is "forget the cost, if it saves even one life..." Not so with enforcing our immigration laws. Why, the cost might be some politician's re-election! That would never do! (Sarcasm intended.) Better to just let a few ugly office towers collapse.

    BTW, I feel the same way about parole. Either someone has served his (usually it's his) time or not. I never understood the "logic" of releasing criminals early because building jails is "too expensive". How much is an innocent person's life worth? Seems to me the cost to society of releasing felons early is higher than keeping them in prison. Plus, usually they end up in prison again anyway, so you're not really saving anything...

    When will our gov't quit punishing the people who try to abide by the law, and making it easier for the law-breakers?
     
  3. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I must admit I was surprised at the actual magnitude of the problem. I also didn't realize the amount of "scofflaw" arrogance there is...

    For a while, Texas had a problem with overcrowded prisons. Felons were being paroled after serving one month per year of sentence. Since probation is more onerous than parole, the idea of plea bargains disappeared; better to get brief jail time (say, 10 months of a 10-year sentence) and then parole, than 10 years of probation. This further overloaded both courts and prisons...

    But, the relative absence of enforcement of much of our immigration laws goes back well over 20 years, per my conversations with "old timer" Border Patrol guys.

    The guy who started that thread is a prison chaplain at a federal penitentiary in Arkansas. In theory, he's not supposed to wear a "flak jacket"--but he does. Some of his stories about the ethnic gangs in there are hair-raising. Trouble is, these guys get out.

    'Rat
     
  4. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #4
    I was also surprised about the magnitude of the problem when I read this. Though I'm not really surprised at why this happens. Most politicians care primarily about re-election. If they've been led to believe that pandering to illegals will help their chances, they'll likely do it. The Mexican/Hispanic vote is a very valuable vote these days, especially in big cities like LA, Chicago and NY.

    What I am surprised at is that the public, for the most part, rolls over and lets the politicians and city officials behave in this way. I thought about it, and I think it probably can be traced to under-reporting of the negative effects of such loose immigration policies. Gang crimes, crimes involving the very poor, etc. are very under-reported by the news (unless they kill a kid or a yuppy). And if people don't hear about these types of recidivistic crimes committed by illegals (like the stories of the 18th street gang in the article), they obviously can't get upset about it.

    Most of the public focuses on the job issue as it relates to illegal immigrants. While it is certainly true that a market for illegal labor is what brings illegal immigrants in, it is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the negative effects illegal immigration can have on our country. If American heard a little more about the other problems that are caused by illegal immigration, politicians might have no choice but to enact tougher policies and laws.

    Taft
     
  5. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #5
    You are forgetting about prison overcrowding, the cost of holding a prisoner, the fact that not every prisoner is the same, etc., etc. Also, the prison environment itself can be blamed for much of the recidivism seen in our ex-cons. The problems with America's prison system are well documented.

    This isn't to say that I want all ex-murderers released early. But each case should be judged individually. If we actually believe we can reform some of the criminals, that is the only way to make it possible. To take away the discretion of parole boards, or to eliminate parole, would be as bad as imposing manditory minimum sentences. Those have been disasterous in terms of fairness and ethnic discrepancies in rates prosecution.

    I agree that over-crowding should not be solved by a parole system, but it might offer a form of relief to that problem. What you wouldn't want is the parole rate to be linked to the rate of overcrowding. That has disaster written all over it.

    But we have a problem with the way we deal with law enforcement in this country. Proportionately, more of our population is in prison than that of any other country. So why do we commit more crimes than other countries? Or do we? Is it just that our laws and enforcement policies are more rigid?

    And why are more minorities in prison than whites? Do they commit more crimes than whites? Data on drug use shows that while white do as many drugs as minorities, they are arrested, prosecuted or imprisoned at a rate far below that of minorities. Does this pattern extend into other crimes?

    And what about the fact that many thousands of people are in jail for drug possession? Lets me get this straight: we want to get rid of drugs, right? And now we catch a person who is in possession of drugs. Do we a) send him to a (working) rehabilitation program to help him get off drugs or b) send him to prison, along with a bunch of violent and lifelong criminals, to "kick the habit."? While some states do have rehabilitation programs for first time offenders, this option gets used more often on whites than minorities.

    There is something very wrong with our country's aproach to law enforcement. We have very high crime rates, overloaded prisons, and unfair methods of prosecution. And rather than try to address these issues at their cause (poverty, availability of jobs, elimination of the source of illegal trades), we are enacting tougher laws, setting mandatory minimum sentences into law and building more prisons.

    Sure it hasn't worked for the last 30 years, but its bound to start working soon right?

    Right?

    :rolleyes:

    Taft
     
  6. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    "Data on drug use shows that while white do as many drugs as minorities, they are arrested, prosecuted or imprisoned at a rate far below that of minorities. Does this pattern extend into other crimes?"

    As near as I can tell, it's not the folks who "do drugs" who do time so much as the petty dealers and those a level or maybe two above. These tend to be more of an ethnic minority than of whites.

    I have read that while the US homicide rate is around 15 per 100K, if you take out the black rate, it falls to the European average of around 5 or 6 per 100K. Tragically, the majority of black homicides are black on black, and usually concern drugs or the effort to get the money for drugs.

    Thread drift 1: A speculation: It probably won't matter who is the Democratic candidate for Prez, after all the primaries. If Bush loses, it can likely be due to a lot of conservatives staying home, irate over the "Immigration Deform" and Republican spending.

    Thread drift 2: I've long been amused by the idea that Dubya is a "conservative". First, he grew up within LBJ's "Great Society". Second, his father was (essentially) a life-long government employee/appointee. Third, his business world was within those groups who depend heavily on government intervention/regulation. He believes that government can and should involve itself with solving social problems. How could he be truly a capital-c Conservative? :)

    'Rat
     
  7. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    Jan 1, 2004
    #7
    If I were an illegal immigrant I would certainly not be doing this. Especially knowing I could get deported in 3 years. I don't get it... someone please explain?
     
  8. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    Chicago
    #8
    That is a common misconception. While the majority of people in prison for a drug offense were caught selling, trafficing or distributing drugs, a sizable minority are in prison simply for drug use.

    Source: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/prison.htm

    But you are right in that the statistics for the discrepency in rates of encarceration by race are probably skewed. Likely, minorities turn to dealing for cash more often than whites (due to the incredibly high income disparity between whites and minorities). However, I have seen statistics that indicate that there is a racial bias in arrest/imprisonment specifically in the drug user group. I'll try to find more hard data.

    But your statistic on the murder rate is revealing. Overwhelmingly, crime is a greater problem among poor populations. Also, those crimes are usually poor-on-poor crimes. Does that indicate there is a problem?

    Taft
     
  9. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Neserk, could you rephrase or amplify your question? I don't think I understand.

    Taft, what's not shown in the statistics of incarceration are those who are in prison for, say, armed robbery; the "need" was money to buy drugs. These prisoners might well have not been under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime or arrest. (Which is why I'm against the way we're [not] dealing with the drug problem.)

    Edit-add: Another misleading aspect about the numbers you cited is the issue of plea-bargaining. In order to avoid the expense of a trial, the indicted person might well plead guilty to possession, escaping the charges of small-scale dealing, etc.

    The poor-on-poor or drugs/gang crimes have been a major ongoing problem for decades. A side effect is that from the way the news is reported, support is gained for various laws in the name of "doing something about crime". This includes the inefficacious gun control nonsense, among other things, as well as many of the inner-city social programs..."Midnight Basketball", anyone?

    'Rat
     
  10. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #10
    As I understand the proposal Illegal Immigrants would get to work for 3 years but after 3 years if they aren't allowed to apply for citizenship then they will be deported. Am I misunderstanding it? It seems to me it would be better to stay hidden then risk deporatation in 3 years.
     
  11. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    :) Neserk, I just don't know. Most negative commentators point out that after the last go-round of easing the status of illegals, even more came here.

    Overall, to me, it looks like a throwing up of hands in surrender to the problem of some 8-ish million or so illegals, and pandering to the Latin vote.

    'Rat
     

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