Spotlight on local action: Father Roy Snipes
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May 14, 2019
The Dallas Morning News ran a nice profile of Father Roy Snipes, a Catholic priest, who has led the battle against the construction of the wall in Mission, Texas. If built as planned, the wall would cut off his small church, La Lomita, from the community. His and others’ efforts led Congress to include a ban on building a barrier around the church in a last minute budget deal this February. The victory is not certain, and Father Roy continues to speak out against the national mood on immigration:
The situation remains precarious. With this emergency, [Trump] can still take funds from somewhere else to build his wall," said Snipes. "We are the world's richest, most powerful and smartest [sic] people on earth, so we should be able to come out with something better than a damn wall. We need to remember our humanity, our decency and humility as a country and as a people.
Read the full profile here.
Immigration and Crime
From the first days of the presidential campaign Trump has peppered his stump speeches with claims that immigrants bring crime. He has never let up. While it is true that some immigrants commit crime, there is no evidence that increased immigration generally leads to more violent crime. None. No where. Last year a large study conducted by the Marshall Project, in collaboration with several universities, investigated the link between immigration and violent crime and concluded:
According to data from the study, a large majority of the areas have many more immigrants today than they did in 1980 and fewer violent crimes. The Marshall Project extended the study’s data up to 2016, showing that crime fell more often than it rose even as immigrant populations grew almost across the board.
In 136 metro areas, almost 70 percent of those studied, the immigrant population increased between 1980 and 2016 while crime stayed stable or fell. The number of areas where crime and immigration both increased was much lower — 54 areas, slightly more than a quarter of the total. The 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.
Faced with actual evidence, true believers changed the argument: immigration may not lead to increased crime overall, but “illegal” immigration does lead to more violent crime.
Nope. Not true either. A new study by the Marshall Project that focused solely on the impact of undocumented migration similarly found no connection between undocumented immigration and increases in violent crime rates. The Marshall Project is not alone in these findings:
The results of the analysis resemble those of other studies on the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime. Last year, a report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, found that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts. A state-level analysis in Criminology, an academic journal, found that undocumented immigration did not increase violent crime and was in fact associated with slight decreases in it. Another Cato study found that unauthorized immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated.