Much of the hubbub surrounding the comments on illegal immigration by Donald Trump springs from the fact that there are no verifiable statistics from the state level on illegal immigrant crime.
The best statistics available come from the federal level, which does not typically prosecute violent and property crime, but those statistics show a massively disproportionate share in kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, drug possession, and money laundering from foreign nationals. Those statistics do not break down foreign nationals by country of origin or immigration status.
The Department of Justice relies on immigrants’ self-reports of their citizenship. The U.S. census simply guesses the immigration status of inmates. The Government Accounting Office conducts its own analysis of Bureau of Prisons data. In other words, the government hasn’t the first idea how many prisoners are legal immigrants, illegal immigrants or anchor babies.
And it’s not just the feds and states who refuse to keep real statistics on illegal immigration. Members of the media are complicit in refusing to report the immigration status of criminals caught committing violent crimes.
Take, for example, the now-widely-publicized case of Francisco Sanchez, the 45-year-old five-time deportee who murdered 32-year-old Kate Steinle last week in San Francisco. In the original reports, he was variously characterized as “45-year-old Francisco Sanchez, of Texas….[he had] no listed address in San Francisco, is on probation in Texas” by KRON4; “Francisco Sanchez, of Texas…out on probation” by NBC; “Texas resident Francisco Sanchez” by CBS; and “Texas resident Francisco Sanchez” by ABC. Only when Sanchez confessed in a taped interview to being deported five times and coming to San Francisco for the sanctuary city status did the story blow up.
Or the case of former deportee and illegal immigrant Prudencio Fragos-Ramirez (originally mislabeled Flagos-Ramirez), who was arraigned Monday after allegedly murdering 18-year-old Maria Cruiz-Calvillo and her 3-year-old boy, Luis Lopez Cruz. He was arrested on July 4, and was described by local media thusly: “Prudencio Flagos-Ramirez, 25…knew the victims” by the Tri-City Herald; “Twenty-five year old Prudencio Flagos-Ramirez” by KEPR TV; “25-year-old Prudencio Flagos-Ramirez…recently started dating Calvillo and lived within a mile of where the bodies were found” by NBC; and “a 25-year-old man” by the Associated Press. Only after days of coverage did media reveal that the perpetrator had been deported in 2014.
The media utilizes a series of obfuscations and euphemisms to avoid labeling illegal immigrants. Usually, press members begin by ignoring immigration status as a relevant issue in criminal reports (just as press members often ignore the race of criminal perpetrators in original reports if those perpetrators happen to be of minority ethnicity; if, however, a white person perpetrates a crime against a minority person, the races are invariably reported). Then, when forced to cover the actual facts of the case, they substitute euphemisms for “illegal immigrant.”
The Associated Press infamously banned the term itself from its stylebook, as well as “undocumented immigrant.” Instead, the Associated Press has struggled for replacement language, with AP standards editor Tom Kent even suggesting, “foreigners in the United States in violation of the law.” Time magazine also “discourages the use of the term ‘illegal immigrant’ by our writers.” The Los Angeles Times similarly barred the term “illegal immigrant.” The New York Times “encourages reporters and editors to ‘consider alternatives when appropriate to explain the specific circumstances of the person in question, or to focus on actions.’”
The same media who purposefully cover up immigration status among criminals now insist that illegal immigration does not come with attendant criminality. Are these the people we should believe when they critique Donald Trump on illegal immigration?
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.