We frequently hear about murders, assaults and home invasions perpetrated by immigrants. Leaders in Arizona have cited such crimes as the reason for their new law requiring police officers to check immigration status.
But an interesting report today from the Associated Press reveals that, perhaps, the specter of violent crime committed by immigrants has been overblown. The story said that the four big cities with the lowest crime rates — San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin — are in high-immigration states along the Mexican border. And it showed that Border Patrol agents face far fewer assaults than cops.
Examinations of crime rates across the country have shown similar trends. Communities with lots of immigrants are often safer. In Johnston County, North Carolina, where the sheriff has complained of immigrants committing murder, rape and robbery, violent crime rates have fallen sharply since the county became a magnet for immigrants about a decade ago.
Of course, illegal immigration has caused problems in our country. But the popular image of immigrant as violent criminal has unfairly stained all immigrants, in North Carolina and around the country. An entire group of people have come to be seen as a menace.
This misconception is an example of what happens when charged rhetoric replaces true understanding. Uniting NC believes that, when we come together and share our stories, we will see that no one is more prone to commit a crime because of the language he speaks or the country where she was born.