No doubt families of those who lost loved ones to murder at the hands of immigrants were grateful that President Trump recently invited the bereaved families to the White House. We presume many will have guessed that this was intended to remind the voting public just how dangerous immigrants can be. In case there should be any confusion about what Mr Trump thinks about immigrants he has also talked of the dangers of immigrants “infesting society”. To refer immigrants in this way conjures up the racism directed to Jews in Europe in Germany in the late 1930s or more recently of Rwanda (where they talked of cockroaches) and I guess for many, at least in this part of the world, it is hard to imagine a group of immigrants so bad that they can talked about as if they were vermin. What is more worrying is that we have to accept that many Americans are absolutely convinced Mr Trump speaks for them.
Mr Trump’s White House function for those wronged by immigrants seems likely to backfire because it turns out that the assumption about the danger from immigrants is based on a common misconception not borne out by the studies on the subject. Presumably Mr Trump’s advisors have let him down. Rather than refer Mr Trump to complicated statistics why not ask his advisors to discretely refer him to Wikipedia where he might read things like:
“There is no empirical evidence that either legal or illegal immigration increases crime in the United States (Citation provided in Wikipedia article) In fact, most studies in the U.S. have found lower crime rates among immigrants than among non-immigrants, and that higher concentrations of immigrants are associated with lower crime rates (21 references cited) These findings contradict popular perceptions that immigration increases crime. (citation given) Some research even suggests that increases in immigration may partly explain the reduction in the U.S. crime rate (citations given) A 2017 study suggests that immigration did not play a significant part in lowering the crime rate.[citation given) A 2005 study showed that immigration to large U.S. metropolitan areas does not increase, and in some cases decreases, crime rates there.(citation given) A 2009 study found that recent immigration was not associated with homicide in Austin, Texas. (Citation given) The low crime rates of immigrants to the United States despite having lower levels of education, lower levels of income and residing in urban areas (factors that should lead to higher crime rates) may be due to lower rates of antisocial behaviour among immigrants (citation given)”
I am prepared to concede Wikipedia may have it wrong, but I would have thought to make the assumption and then be unable to back the implied assertion with evidence is unwise. Since the studies are easy to access I invite the reader to check out the data for themselves. I suspect such information has not been available to the President, but in the event that the Wikipedia article has it correct surely the President’s researchers and staffers can help him correct his misapprehension.