Data in! Sanctuary cities have higher crime rates
Surprise! Sanctuary cities do, indeed, experience higher crime rates than do non-sanctuary cities, an in-depth WND analysis of the most recent study of the question reveals.
An August 2016 study of the relationship between “sanctuary city” policies and crime rates shows that cities refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities consistently have significantly higher violent crimes rates than do non-sanctuary cities with similar populations and demographics, WND has found.
The study, published last fall by researchers from the University of California-Riverside and Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, is frequently cited by proponents of “sanctuary cities” who ignore or downplay one important detail – the actual crime statistics of the carefully selected cities chosen for the comparison model.
An analysis of the data by WND reveals that non-sanctuary cities comparable in population, size and demographics consistently – year over year – experience and report lower percentages of violent crime as well as lower percentages of property crimes.
The authors of the study, researchers Loren Collingwood, Benjamin Gonzalez-O’Brien and Stephen El-Khatib, define a sanctuary city as “a city or police department that has passed a resolution or ordinance expressly forbidding city or law enforcement officials from inquiring into immigration status and/or cooperation with ICE.”
The authors admit their assumptions going into the study were that differences in crime rates would be negligible. And their stated conclusions are that’s what was found.
“Since undocumented immigrants face deportation in addition to criminal charges, it is logical that they would avoid breaking the law to a greater extent than the native born population,” they wrote. “We expect to see no statistically significant difference between sanctuary and non-sanctuary cities.”
In addition, their introductory comments on what they expected to find in the data included this statement: “We find it unlikely that sanctuary cities will have more crime – be it violent, property, or rape as claimed by some political candidates and opponents of sanctuary cities.”
However, their report buries the actual statistics. The statistics show, from 2000 through 2014, sanctuary cities have had higher crime rates than non-sanctuary cities, with the disparity growing over time.
The researchers examined 54 cities in 19 states, plus the District of Columbia – cities listed by the National Immigration Law Center that implemented sanctuary ordinances post-9/11, during or after 2002. Using city-level crime data compiled by the FBI, they assessed crime rates at the city level immediately following the implementation of a sanctuary policy.
They then matched each sanctuary city to a similarly situated non-sanctuary city – based on relevant census and political variables, creating a scenario where the two cities are as similar as possible with the exception of the sanctuary policy.
The researchers claim, in conclusion, that their study shows designating a city as a sanctuary has no statistically significant effect on crime.
“Our findings provide evidence that sanctuary policies have no effect on crime rates, despite narratives to the contrary,” they wrote. “The potential benefits of sanctuary cities, such as better incorporation of the undocumented community and cooperation with police, thus have little cost for the cities in question in terms of crime.”
Data gathered in the study, however, overwhelmingly contradict the conclusions of the authors.
Violent crime rates are, in fact, drastically higher in sanctuary cities than their non-sanctuary counterparts, as is evidenced by the chart the authors used to delineate their conclusion.
While the three assert that violent crime is only “slightly higher in sanctuary cities than non-sanctuary cities,” the very chart the researchers used to delineate their claim shows something else entirely – consistent, significant and growing crime rate differentials between sanctuary cities and non-sanctuary cities.
The violent crime rate in sanctuary cities, as indicated above, dramatically increased after sanctuary city policy was enacted, and even doubled in some cases. The researchers found “similar results for property crime property crime and rape.”
One of the mantras of the pro-sanctuary movement has been that the policies of non-enforcement and non-reporting of immigration violations to federal authorities would have the effect of fostering cooperation between police and city officials in matters of crime reporting and finding witnesses for prosecutions.
No data has ever been collected to suggest illegal immigrants are offering such cooperation in preventing and fighting crime in these jurisdictions. Concurrently, there is no study, scientific or anecdotal, to suggest illegal immigrants cooperate in fighting crime in these jurisdictions. At the same time, data shows criminal aliens being released by sanctuary jurisdictions commit more crimes when they get out than do non-aliens.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, from January 2014 to August 2014, more than 8,145 aliens were released from jail after arrest after their respective jurisdictions declined an immigration detainer request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sixty-two percent of them had a prior criminal record, and 3,000 of them were felons. Of the 8,145 individuals released, 1,867 were subsequently re-arrested a total of 4,298 times and accumulated a staggering 7,491 charges.
The Government Accountability Office released a report on April 7, 2005, that found criminal aliens comprise about 27 percent of federal prisoners.
The authors of the new study do not argue that sanctuary policies cause any decrease in crime, rather that they have little impact on crime.
Meanwhile, sanctuary city advocates insist that their policies foster better relations with immigrant communities that lead to more effective law enforcement.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, disagrees – adding that sanctuary city policies result in more crime because of the release of so many aliens back into the streets without review.
“Sanctuary policies don’t actually work – they are just an excuse for the political objections that they have for immigration enforcement,” she said. “Cops will tell you that the main way they solve crimes is by evidence, not necessarily relying on witnesses.”
The public is overwhelmingly opposed to sanctuary policies. A survey from Harvard-Harris found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting illegal immigrants with whom they come into contact to federal agents.
The Trump administration is cracking down on “sanctuary” cities and counties that do not cooperate with the federal government in enforcing U.S. immigration law. President Trump issued an executive order in January that gave Attorney General Jeff Sessions the authority to sanction any city that doesn’t readily hand over undocumented immigrants for deportation.
On March 27, Sessions threatened to strip sanctuary cities of Justice Department grants for state and local law enforcement. Jurisdictions that do not comply with a particular federal law on immigration, Sessions warned, would not be eligible for certain kinds of federal funding.
Despite public sentiment and the White House directive, Democratic Party leaders of sanctuary cites vow to disregard federal law to protect criminal illegal aliens and are accusing President Trump of inaccurately portraying illegal immigrants as criminals.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported in February that 10 sanctuary jurisdictions refused ICE’s detainer requests to hold 540 criminal aliens in just a one-week period.
Some aliens who were released in California were convicted of cruelty toward a child, assault, burglary and domestic violence. The criminals who were released from jurisdictions ranging from Colorado to Washington state were charged with crimes such as aggravated assault, indecent exposure, drug possession, forgery, sexual assault, larceny and driving under the influence.
Nevertheless, critics of Trump’s sanctuary-city crackdown are comparing the new administration’s policies with racism and slavery. Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka argued Sunday that the Trump administration’s threat to withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities is an attempt to intimidate local officials into becoming “fugitive slave catchers.”
But Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, author of “Cops Under Fire,” has been an outspoken critic of sanctuary policies.
“We are not a nation of immigrants,” he told WND. “We are a nation of laws. When they can’t construct and build out an argument the left resort to name calling. I’m tired of people who are on the left trying to mix this up, talking about lawful immigration verses illegal immigration.”
WND attempted to contact the authors of the August study for comments about conflicts between the data they gathered and their conclusions, but they did not reply to the inquiries.
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