Fox makes faulty comparison to suggest AZ ruling may "leave people in danger"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Fox News' Alisyn Camerota compared the number of "deaths along the U.S. border" to the number of "soldiers killed in Iraq" to falsely suggest that Judge Susan Bolton's decision to block parts of Arizona's new immigration law put "people in danger." In fact, crime rates in border states have declined in recent years and are at their lowest levels in decades.

Fox: "[M]ore deaths" on border means AZ ruling may "leave people in danger"

Camerota: "There have been more deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border than soldiers killed in Iraq, so does the judge's decision to block parts of Arizona's law leave people in danger?" On the July 30 edition of Fox & Friends, Camerota teased a discussion about a federal judge's recent decision to block the controversial portions of the Arizona immigration law by stating, "There have been more deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border than soldiers killed in Iraq." The ensuing segment did not include any discussion of this claim.

According to Justice Dept., crime rates in border states are at their lowest levels in decades

Crime rates in Arizona at lowest point in decades. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the violent crime rate in Arizona has been declining since 2006 and in 2008 -- the most recent year for which data are available -- was at its lowest level since 1973. Likewise, the property crime rate in Arizona has declined sharply since 2002 and in 2008 was at its lowest point since 1966. The drop in crime rates coincided with a dramatic increase in Arizona's undocumented immigrant population. The Arizona Republic reported: "Between January 2000 and January 2008, Arizona's undocumented population grew 70 percent, according to the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] report. Nationally, it grew 37 percent."

Crime rates in other border states also have dropped in recent years. The BJS data further show that violent crime rates and property crime rates in California, New Mexico, and Texas dropped in recent years, and in 2008 were at their lowest levels in decades.

  • In California, the violent crime rate dropped to 503.8 in 2008, the lowest level since 1970; the property crime rate dropped to 2,940.3, the lowest level since 1960 -- the earliest year for which BJS provides data.
  • In New Mexico, the violent crime rate dropped to 655.6 in 2008, the lowest level since 1987; the property crime rate dropped to 3,817.4, the lowest since 1968.
  • In Texas, the violent crime rate dropped to 508.0 in 2008, the lowest level since 1984; the property crime rate dropped to 3,987.0, the lowest since 1973.

Cato's Griswold: "[I]t is a smear to blame low-skilled immigrant workers from Latin America for creating a crime problem in Arizona." In an April 27 post, Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies, wrote that "Arizona's harsh new law against illegal immigration is being justified in part as a measure to combat crime" and that "drug-related violence along the border is a real problem." But, Griswold continued, "it is a smear to blame low-skilled immigrant workers from Latin America for creating a crime problem in Arizona." From Griswold's post:

Arizona's harsh new law against illegal immigration is being justified in part as a measure to combat crime. The murder of an Arizona rancher in March, allegedly by somebody in the country without documentation, galvanized support for the bill.

The death of the rancher was a tragedy, and drug-related violence along the border is a real problem, but it is a smear to blame low-skilled immigrant workers from Latin America for creating a crime problem in Arizona.

The crime rate in Arizona in 2008 was the lowest it has been in four decades. In the past decade, as the number of illegal immigrants in the state grew rapidly, the violent crime rate dropped by 23 percent, the property crime rate by 28 percent.

Posted In
Immigration, Border Security, Enforcement
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Alisyn Camerota
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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