Immigration Debate Needs Truthful Data, Not Fear Mongering


If a person has the strength and resilience to travel over 1000 miles while carrying their children with them, that is the kind of person I certainly want in my community and in my country.  But the current administration is perpetuating a myth that those fleeing violence in Central America are dangerous criminals.  

“Angel families”, family members of a person killed by an illegal immigrant, were hosted in a press conference at the White House on Friday.  Each one of these cases is a tragedy, but they are outliers and not the norm.  

A study published by the Cato Institute in February 2018 (1) showed native born Americans were far more likely to commit a violent or non-violent crime than legal or illegal immigrants.  Another study, published in March by the Journal of Criminology (2), looked at population-level crime rates.  It concluded that from 1990 to 2014 increases in the undocumented immigrant population was associated with significant decreases in violence.

Our immigration system is clearly in need of improvement.  But fear mongering, demonizing entire groups of people, and provoking racial tensions will not lead to effective immigration policy.  We need clear heads, truthful data, and thoughtful debate. 

1.  https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/criminal-immigrants-texas-illegal-immigrant

2.  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1745-9125.12175

Submitted by: Dana Collins Bussing, M.D., co-chair of the Healthcare Committee

Naperville IL