Violence on the Border: Perception Often Trumps Reality

The New York times published a story on the border recently entitled On Border Violence, Truth Compared to Ideas it can be read here.

Some excerpts can be read below.

the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. While thousands have been killed in Mexico’s drug wars, raising anxiety that the violence will spread to the United States, F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.

Below are some of the statistics cited in the story. The FBI puts out a report called the Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report. The section on Arizona is below.

A closer examination of the statistics shows that from 2008 to 2009 crime has actually gone down. The full FBI Report can be seen here.

And here is the Department of Homeland Security Report on the Estimates of Unauthorized Immigrant Populations Residing in the United States: January 2009. Below is a brief excerpt.

In summary, DHS estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States decreased to 10.8 million in January 2009 from 11.6 million in January 2008. Between 2000 and 2009, the unauthorized population grew by 27 percent. Of all unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2009, 63 percent entered before 2000, and 62 percent were from Mexico.