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Wednesday, March 1, 2017 04:47 pm

Fake issue

 In this week’s column I wondered out loud about the question of the day: If the federales succeed in banishing all undocumented immigrants from Illinois, would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Much evidence suggests it would be a bad thing, on balance, but there is much more that can and ought to be said.

One of the issues I touched on was crime. Kevin Drum over a Mother Jones is a sane and sensible critic of contemporary life. He looked at the complicated question of whether immigrants, as Donald Trump insists on believing, immigrants are more prone to crime than other groups like, say, bankers.

Drum's review of what’s known is illuminating. His conclusion? It’s a fake issue. “There are lots of crime studies out there, and they come to lots of different conclusions about immigrants,” he writes. “But if you take them all together and look at them fair-mindedly, there's really no good reason for thinking that immigrants commit crimes at higher rates than natives. They might very well commit crimes at lower rates. They certainly have more motivation to be law-abiding than most of us.”

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