Criminal Impact of Illegal Aliens
A U.S. Justice Department audit suggests that crime by illegal aliens may be more than just a myth promulgated by opponents of illegal immigration, according to an Associated Press report.
The findings by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine are based on a sampling of 100 illegal immigrants arrested by local and state authorities in 2004, the latest complete data available. They show that 73 of the 100 immigrants were arrested, collectively, 429 times – ranging from traffic tickets to weapons and drug charges.
It’s hard to know how seriously to take these findings just based on the article. For example, I would question how the sampling was achieved. The redacted DoJ report states:
After querying NCIC [the FBI’s National Crime Information Center], the FBI provided us with nearly 433,000 text files that could not be searched by automated means. The volume of files was too great to search manually and quantify the results. Consequently, we judgmentally selected a sampling of 100 criminal histories, which we reviewed for evidence of arrests of criminal aliens subsequent to June 30, 2003. The criminal histories for 73 of the 100 individuals accounted for a total of 429 arrests, with 878 charges and 241 convictions. These figures represent an average of nearly six arrests per individual. [Report page xii]
Questions abound, not the least of which is how representative the available data is of crime by illegal aliens nationwide. The data analyzed came only from jurisdictions that received grant funding from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. How representative is illegal alien criminal activity in those jurisdictions? What constitutes "judgmental selection" as quoted in the above report text? Given that this audit included only those illegals turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, can this data be extrapolated over the entirety of the illegal alien population? How might unavailable information about illegals who commit no other crimes while here and those who commit crimes but are never caught affect the picture the report paints?
The answers to these and other questions would clarify the magnitude of a problem that obviously exists. It almost certainly isn’t good news for proponents of illegal immigration who claim that the presence of illegals provides more benefits to American society than it does problems.