Click here to read John Spritzler's letter to the editor about illegal immigration that was published August 9, 2018 by the Bulletin Newspaper (a Boston weekly) on page 14 here, titled "Big Money Is the Enemy."

 

 

 

Dear editor [of the Boston Globe],

 

Meredith Warren's opinion article July 31, "‘Sanctuary cities’ defy immigration law," uses specious logic. Warren cites the murder of Kate Steinle by, allegedly, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez in San Francisco to conclude that illegal immigrant Mexicans should be aggressively found and deported and local police should fully cooperate with federal authorities in this endeavor. Warren's "logic" goes like this: Lopez-Sanchez was an illegal Mexican immigrant. He allegedly murdered a woman. Therefore all illegal Mexican immigrants should be deported (as the federal law calls for) and the local police should help do that, or else more innocent people will be murdered by illegal Mexican immigrants.

 

By this same so-called "logic" one could reason as follows: Lopez-Sanchez had black hair. He allegedly murdered a woman. Therefore all people with black hair should be treated as dangerous likely murderers and in some fashion be preemptively prevented from murdering people, or else more innocent people will be murdered by black-haired people. The falseness of this is obvious because we know that black-haired people are no more likely to be murderers than non-black-haired people. The falseness of Warren's "logic," however, is only obvious if one similarly knows that, in fact, (as reported by the American Immigration Council at http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/myth-immigrant-criminality-and-paradox-assimilation ) that:

 

  • "Even as the undocumented population has doubled to 12 million since 1994, the violent crime rate in the United States has declined 34.2 percent and the property crime rate has fallen 26.4 percent.

  • Cities with large immigrant populations such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami also have experienced declining crime rates during this period.

 

Immigrants Have Lower Incarceration Rates than Natives

 

Among men age 18-39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the 3.5 percent incarceration rate of the native-born in 2000 was 5 times higher than the 0.7 percent incarceration rate of the foreign-born."

 

 

The logically relevant fact about Lopez-Sanchez is not that he was an illegal Mexican immigrant, but rather that he had seven prior felony convictions. If Warren had argued that local police should help federal authorities aggressively incarcerate seven-time felony convicts so that they don't murder people, that would have been logical. But instead Warren used specious "logic" to turn her readers against a category  of people who suffer not only poverty due to unjust class inequality but also slander by billionaires such as Donald Trump. It's time we re-thought (as done at http://www.pdrboston.org/#!illegal-immigration/c1zs7 ) the wisdom of treating illegal immigrants as criminals.

 

John Spritzler

July 31, 2015

 

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