Conservatives often attack global warming alarmists for using individual outlier events at the tails of the normal distribution (e.g. Katrina) to fan panic about climate change. So it is interesting to see them doing the same thing themselves on immigrants and crime in Arizona. [sorry, forgot the link to Expresso Pundit]
Of course, the whole story fell apart when Wagner had to introduce this fact.
While smugglers have become more aggressive in their encounters with authorities, as evidenced by the shooting of a Pinal County deputy on Friday, allegedly by illegal-immigrant drug runners, they do not routinely target residents of border towns.
Sure, that's the ticket, violence hasn't increased in actual border towns...of course, roving drug smugglers just used an AK 47 to gun down a deputy in PINAL County a hundred miles north of the border. But other than that...and the rancher they killed last month...the border towns themselves are pretty calm.
Excuse me, but has anyone on any side of the immigration debate ever claimed that immigrants have never committed a crime? Forget for a minute that the guilty parties in these two cases are mere supposition without any charges filed yet -- particularly the case of the rancher last month. In 2008 there were about 407 killings in the state. So, like, one a month were maybe by immigrant gangs and this is a crisis?
From the link above, I looked up AZ and US crime states in 2000, 2005, and 2008. I was too lazy to do every year and 2009 state stats don't appear to be online yet. Here is the crisis in Arizona in violent crime rates:
Oh Noz, we seem not only to have drastically reduced our violent crime rate right in the teeth of this immigrant "invasion" but we also have reduced it below the US average. This actually understates the achievement, since Arizona is more highly urbanized than the average state (yeah, I know this is counter-intuitive, but it was true even 20 years ago and is more true today). Urban areas have higher crime rates than rural areas, particularly in property crime as below:
So our property crime rate is high, but not totally out of line from other highly urban areas. But the real key here is that during this supposed immigrant invasion, again Arizona has improved faster than the national average. This is seen more clearly when we index both lines to 2000.
One may wonder why climate change alarmists only wave around anecdotes rather than averages. If we really are seeing more drought or floods, show us the averages. The problem is that their story can't be seen in the averages, so they are forced to rely on anecdotes to inflame the population. The same appears to be true of our Arizona immigration panic.
Update: Some doubts emerge about Pinal County deputy shooting update: or perhaps not