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The Illegal Alien Invasion...
[by Mac Johnson] 12/6/05
first acts in America are to illegally sneak in, lie about
your status, obtain fraudulent identification,
deceive public services and solicit an itinerant
job in the underground economy, people have a right to ask what sort of neighbor
you might become.
alien’s life of deceit and struggle would seem to appeal
only to those very desperate to leave their homelands. And
the failed societies which inspire such desperation in their
poor tend to be much more violent than the United States. “How
much of this violence is imported into the United States with
these desperate migrants?” is thus an obvious question
to be asked in the debate over the costs and benefits of tolerating
millions of such immigration criminals.
Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge,
Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and
Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He
is a frequent opinion contributor to Human
Events Online. His website can be found at macjohnson.com [go
to Johnson index]
It may be an obvious question, but there is little attempt to
answer it by government. Given that the first responsibility
of government is to protect the lives of its citizens, this is
surprising. Or it would be, if my last shred of idealism had
not long ago been euthanized by my sense of reality on the subject
of our willfully neglected borders.
If records on the homicide associated with illegal immigration
exist, the obscurity in which they are shrouded is inviolate.
After failing to find such information on the websites of numerous
federal agencies, I spoke with a press representative of the
FBI. Although very polite, he was very sure that murders by illegal
aliens was not the sort of thing the FBI would keep track of,
and so he gave me the phone number of a representative of the
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Division of the Department
of Homeland Security. This got me off the phone with the FBI.
The lady at ICE was also a very polite, and suggested that I
call the FBI. After I explained that I just had, she then suggested
that I check the Statistical Yearbook on the internet. And after
I explained that I had pretty much read the whole thing already,
she gave me the number of somebody at the Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS). This got me off the phone with the ICE.
The BJS spokesman was not very polite at all, but was knowledgeable.
He explained that no one kept track of illegal alien murders
and that the closest thing to such a record would be the applications
to the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program of the Federal
Government (SCAAP). This program is designed to stop border states
from organizing against illegal immigration by reimbursing them
millions of dollars in costs associated with imprisoning any
illegal aliens convicted of either one felony or two misdemeanors.
Since the records of the program simply trigger the transfer
of huge sums of Federal tax money, they are not very informative
or accessible. He suggested that I contact all 50 state governors.
I am dumb, thus I
did. In doing so, I clearly identified myself as a very important
press-associated person, confident that this
would trigger quick and thorough responses. In the next three
months, I received almost one dozen responses to my 50 queries.
Two contained useful information. Vermont, wonderfully isolated
as always, told me about the illegal aliens in its prison system—all
49 of them. The answer from Florida was excellent and very thorough,
but the data simply do not exist.
No one knows the cost in lives of illegal immigration. This
seems unacceptable to me. After some thought, I have arrived
at my own approximation of the number. The estimate is crude,
but is based on real numbers and as few assumptions as I could
manage. If you disagree with it, just send me a better estimate.
While the murder rate among illegal aliens in America is unknown,
we do have fair estimates of how many illegal migrants are here,
and what countries they came from. The murder rates in most of
these countries are known and published by the United Nations
(which means the figures must be correct). If one then simply
assumes that each nationality of alien commits murder at the
same rate in America as it would in its homeland, it is then
possible to arrive at an estimate of the probable rate of murder
by illegal aliens in America.
Put more plainly,
I assumed that 3,871,912 Mexicans in America kill at the same
rate as 3,871,912 Mexicans in Mexico, then did
the same for 336,717 Salvadorans, 77,000 Brazilians, 226,886
Chinese and 39 other categories of illegal alien—as totaled
in a Census Bureau estimate of the illegal alien population in
2000. The report’s total figure was that 8.7 million illegal
aliens are in our country. It should be noted that this estimate
would be considered low by many sources. But I tried to be as
conservative as possible with all figures. My estimate is therefore
low, I believe.
(If you don’t
like numbers, skip the next two paragraphs further explaining
Using the above method, I estimated that illegal aliens kill
1,480 people in America every year. This assumes that the 8.7
million illegal aliens in America have a population age structure
and a sex ratio similar to that of their homelands. Most murders
are committed by young males. If the illegal population in America
is skewed toward young males, as most believe, the murder total
is actually much higher. Comparing the age structure of the population
of illegal aliens that applied for amnesty during the Reagan
administration (according a GAO report) to the current age structure
of the population of Mexico (according to the US Census Bureau),
I found that people aged 22 to 45 years old were overrepresented
in the amnesty pool. Adjusting the murder rate using FBI homicide
perpetrator age-cohort information for the United States (see
why you need to pay attention in math class, kids?), the total
is more likely to be 1,806 murders per year.
Sex ratio is harder
to estimate. I have seen data indicating a 1:1 ratio of males
to females in the illegal alien population,
and I have seen claims that it is 90% male, as well as many figures
in between. A catalog of deaths of illegal immigrants in the
deserts of the Southwest (most either from exposure, automobile
collisions or, interestingly, from homicide) on a “human
rights” website had a ratio among the dead of 3:1 male
to female. I was unable to resolve the sex ratio issue to my
satisfaction. Our enforcement system is so inadequate that I
could see it being no obstacle to even a pregnant woman in fashionable
shoes, favoring the 1:1 ratio. But my intuition is that illegal
adventures in foreign lands appeal disproportionately to testosterone-clouded
minds, favoring a male bias to the ratio. Thus, I made three
calculations, based on the population being 50% male (1,806 murders),
60% male (2,076 murders), or 75% male (2,510 murders). If we
adjusted for the social class of the migrants, the total would
climb higher. But I could find no data making this adjustment
possible. Also, the sort of people who are willing to break our
laws to enter are probably of a more criminal nature than those
who wait for permission, meaning that the illegal alien population
could be more violent than the population of their homelands
as a whole. But again, there was no way to correct for this possible
skewing of the population, so the estimates were left arguably
So the upshot, for the journalism majors that just rejoined
the article, is that a simplistic good-faith estimate is that
illegal aliens kill between 1,806 and 2,510 people in the United
States each year. We have just passed the much-vaunted 2,000
deaths mark in the invasion of Iraq, a necessary endeavor. In
that same 32 months, there have possibly been between 4,800 and
6,700 deaths in the invasion of the United States by illegal
aliens, a corrupt endeavor tolerated in a frivolous pursuit of
Given that 16,528
murders were committed in the entire United States in 2004,
this estimate—if correct—would mean
that illegal aliens (3% of the population in the Census Bureau
Estimate used in this analysis) commit between 11% and 15% of
all the murders in the United States each year. The murder rate
for the illegal alien population in this model, 20 to 29 homicides
per year per 100,000 persons, would thus be 400% to 500% the
rate of the combined native-born and legal immigrant populations.
Even if American policing, a desire by illegal aliens to remain
obscure, or other factors reduced the murder rate in the illegal
alien population to just half the rate in their native countries,
we are still paying a very high price in lives for our abject
failure to enforce our own immigration laws.
Thousands may be dying—but
at least our lawns look nice. -one-
originally appeared at American Thinker
2005 Mac Johnson