Psssst…..Have you heard? Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens.
The figure comes to us via a "SPECIAL MESSAGE" e-mail from "Stephen Frank's 'California Political News and Views'."
They source it to the "Minuteman Civil Defense Corps."
The Minutemen, in turn, cite a "report" by Representative Steve King of Iowa.
But Rep. King's press release attributes the 12 per day figure to………nothing.
No source is cited. The trail is cold.
Anecdotes aside, we actually know precious little about the total volume of crimes committed by illegal aliens. Reason: The FBI's uniform crime reports, regarded as the most reliable and comprehensive source of crime data, does not record nativity of perpetrators—let alone their legal status. Even the ethnicity of arrestees is obscured by lumping Hispanics in with Anglo whites.
Not for the first time, the government apparently just doesn't want to hear bad news about immigration's impact.
Even so, the FBI stats do tend to undercut the Frank/Minuteman/King assertions. Of the 10,083 individuals arrested for murder in 2005, only 4,955 were white/Hispanic. At 12 per day, illegals would kill 4,380 per year.
Implication: nearly all of the white/Hispanics arrested for murder in 2005 would have to be illegal aliens for the 12/day factoid to be credible.
Of course, the 12/day refers to murders, not perpetrators. If illegals are disproportionately mass murderers, a handful could have done it. Alternatively, illegals may get away with murder at greater rates than the rest of us. That would indeed be the case if most of their victims were other illegals, with no next of kin to report their disappearance.
Several states break out Hispanic arrests separately. In California, for example, 946 Hispanics were arrested for murder in 2005. (Table 1.) An estimated 2.8 million illegals – equivalent to about one-quarter of California's Hispanic population – lived there in 2005, according to the Census. (That's probably an egregious underestimate since the Census survey on which it is based puts the total U.S. illegal alien population at 11.5 million, a figure thought low by many.)
My conservative calculation: If one-quarter of the Hispanics arrested for murder were illegals, then 0.65 murders per day could, on average, be attributed to illegals. California is home to about one-quarter of all illegals. So by extrapolation, illegals could kill 2.6 persons per day across the U.S.
Ouch. That's certainly less than 12. But it's still a lot.
Moreover, Hispanic homicide rates are increasing faster than those of other groups. (See Table 1 again.) From 2000 to 2005, California's Hispanic murder rate (arrests per 100,000 Hispanic population) rose 16.8 percent, to 7.44.
Comparable rates for non-Hispanic whites went up 3.1 percent, to 2.44, while murder rates of the "other" group, which includes non-Hispanic Asians, fell to 2.56, a 20.4 percent decline from 2000.
Blacks are the perennial outliers. They have both the highest murder rate—21.8 arrests per 100,000 population—and the fastest rate of increase—up 20 percent between 2000 and 2005.
But Hispanic population growth will inevitably overwhelm the Black-Hispanic murder rate differential. It already has in California, where in 2005 nearly twice as many Hispanics were arrested for murder as Blacks.
As California goes……so goes the nation. The day when illegal aliens (and, especially, their citizen-children) kill 12 Americans per day is, after all, not too far off.
Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.