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Distractions:  About The Wall

Excerpt David Stockman

Key Takeaway 1:  "Virtually all those committing terrorist acts in America came here legally"

Key Takeaway 2:   Illegal alien rates for violent crime are far lower than mainstream America rates. There are 3.4 homicides per 100,000 in the border counties compared to a 5.2 per 100,000 rate in the rest of the US.

Key Takeaway 3:   For the year 2018 only 1.7% border undocumented immigrants had a prior criminal record according to Border Patrol data and most prior criminal records were for previous illegal entry into the US.  

Key Takeaway 4: Zero people were murdered or injured in terror attacks committed on U.S. soil by special interest aliens who entered illegally from 1975 through the end of 2017. 

Overall Takeaway:  While border security is important it is not a national defense security issue nor a major crime security issue making it a major distraction for the fiscal disaster coming our way soon.

Funny 15 sec Video: Trump on what to do if you reach a concrete wall

Needless to say, at the center of this giant unfolding distraction is a completely Fake Crisis, if there ever was one. Contrary to the Donald's Tuesday night bombast, there is no horde of entrants swarming the border; no outbreak of crime on the US side of the line; and absolutely no shred of a national security threat whatsoever.

As to the alleged hordes of menacing immigrants, you only need to glance at the chart below to see that is pure Fox News bunkum.

The 310,000 unauthorized immigrant apprehensions at the southwest US border in 2017, in fact, represented a 78% plunge from the level in the year 2000. And when it comes to Mexican migrants, the decline has been nearly 90%.

Likewise, there is no evidence of crime spilling over the borders. To the contrary, on three leading measures of crimes per 100,000 population in 2017, the counties which border Mexico have lower rates than for the rest of the US.

For example, there are 3.4 homicides per 100,000 in the border counties compared to a 5.2 per 100,000 rate in the rest of the US.

In the case of the property crime rate, it is 2,207/100,000 in the border counties and 2,256/100,000 in the rest of the country. And when it comes to all violent crimes including assault, battery rape, muggings etc the rate is 348/100,000 in the border counties and 379/100,000 in the rest of the nation.

Indeed, on the crime flowing over the border file, the Donald pulled a downright fast one in his speech. He cited ICE arrest statistics, which suggested that 66% of these cases involved illegals who had previously been convicted of a crime----and in many cases violent ones.

But here's the thing. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) doesn't patrol the borders!

For better or ill, it is in the deportation business, and as a matter of operating procedure targets likely criminals for its raids and arrests throughout the interior of the USA. That is, there is an inherent high criminal ratio in the ICE arrest statistics because that exactly what its mission entails.

By contrast, it is the Border Patrol which picks up illegals along the border. For the year 2018 through August 31, it apprehended 361,993 undocumented immigrants, but only 6,259---or 1.7%---had a prior criminal record according to Border Patrol data.

Moreover, 3,600 or 58% of these criminals were actually circular criminals. That is, they had previously been convicted of illegal entry into the U.S. (a misdemeanor) or reentry (a felony). Another 1,000 had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

In fact, among last years 361,993 apprehended illegal border crossers, there were only three convictions for manslaughter, which implies a rate per 100,000 that is 75% lower than for the general US population; and a total of 506 convictions for assault, battery or domestic violence, which also implies a rate far below the US average.

Yes, there is a serious crime problem associated with the Mexican border, but it is one manufactured in the legislative chambers of Washington, not along a fenceless border.

We are referring, of course, to the War on Drugs, which makes prohibited substances immensely and artificially valuable, thereby fueling a massive, violent underground distribution system that is the number one source of violent crime in America.

To be sure, many if not most illegal drugs can be harmful to personal health or even fatal----just like cigarettes, too much alcohol or Kentucky Fried chicken or sky-diving. But the distributors of Marlboros and Jim Beam don't kill people who distribute their product or inflict violent mayhem on neighborhoods in order to enforce business deals, such as cartel territorial rights.

There is no better evidence for this than what is now happening in states where weed has been made legal. According to a recent story about Oregon,

Approximately three years after Oregon lawmakers signed a recreational cannabis law, the state is now experiencing a massive glut in its marijuana supply, collapsing prices and putting dozens of the industry’s licensed growers and retailers on borderline bankruptcy.

The state of about 4 million people harvested a half pound of marijuana per every resident, which raises concern that there are too many growers. According to government data, there are 1,107 licensed active producers and another 900 producers seeking licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)......Last year we saw prices plunge up to 50 percent," Whitney said. "This year prices could drop by 35-50 percent more."

Needless to say, a glut of producers and a 70% decline in prices is the very opposite of the kind of high-priced scarcity that results from drug prohibition. In fact, as drug prices fall to free market clearing levels the criminal gangs and cartels would be squeezed out because they couldn't possibly compete with legitimate commercial businesses.

Pictured below is one of the pot farms in Oregon. We'd wager no one gets killed planting, cultivating, harvesting, processing or distributing the product grown therein.

Finally, there is the Donald's claim that "people are pouring into our country, including terrorists.”

Purportedly, that means the border crisis implicates national security, and is therefore the basis for declaring a national emergency, if Congress remains recalcitrant.

But that's were the Fake Crisis is really a crock.

To wit, according to a detailed study by the Cato Institute, between 2007 and 2017 the border patrol apprehended 5,295,000 undocumented immigrants. During that period, about 63 countries were designated by the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence agencies as "specially designated countries" or "countries of interest" owing to their having "shown a tendency to promote, produce or protect terrorist organizations or their members".

As it happened, 5,250,000 or 99.15% of these apprehensions were of persons not from these terrorist prone countries.

Moreover, of the 45,000 apprehended over 10 years from the 63 countries on Washington's terrorist lists, about 17,000 were from India, 13,000 from Brazil, 2,500 from Bangladesh and 2,900 from Nepal---all countries that do not immediately come to mind as burgeoning safe harbors for jihadist terrorists.

On the other hand, detainees from Iraq (101), Afghanistan (102), Saudi Arabia (97), Yemen (68) and Syria (64) accounted for only 0.1% of all detainees; and as it happened, none of them had actually been involved in plots to commit acts of terrorism on US soil.

In fact, for the entire 42 year period between 1975 and 2017, the Cato study showed that there had been zero people murdered or injured in the US by foreigners who came across the U.S. borders illegally; and of the seven illegal entrants who had  just planned or plotted attacks which didn't actually happen, none came across the Mexican border:

Zero people were murdered or injured in terror attacks committed on U.S. soil by special interest aliens who entered illegally from 1975 through the end of 2017.  However, seven special interest aliens who initially entered illegally have been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.  They all entered illegally from Canada or jumped ship in American ports before the list of special interest countries even existed.  None of them successfully carried out their attacks and none illegally crossed the Mexican border.

Indeed, the utter foolishness of the Mexican Wall as a deterrent to terrorism is made clear by the seven cases of foiled terrorists who got here other than through Mexico. For instance,

  • Walid Kabban, a native of Lebanon, walked across the Canadian border illegally in 1987 to deliver a bomb to his co-conspirators in the United States.  He was discovered by a local police chief and arrested before he could carry out his attack.
  • Algerian-born Abdelghani Meskini aided Ressam in his plot after he entered the United States illegally as a stowaway on a ship.
  • Palestinian Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, who was born in Israel and traveled on Israeli papers, was apprehended at a bus stop after illegally entering the United States in 1997.
  • Somali-born Nuradin M. Abdi originally entered the U.S. unlawfully in 1995 on a fake passport.

On the other hand, virtually all the terrorists attacks in the US committed by foreigners during that same period came here legally. That is, a Wall couldn't have stopped them because they had a passport or Visa:

Although there have been zero attacks committed by illegal border crossers from any of the special interest countries, foreign-born people who entered legally from those countries were responsible for 99.5 percent of all murders and 94.7 percent of all injuries committed by foreign-born terrorists on U.S. soil from 1975 through the end of 2017.  This isn’t surprising as the 9/11 terrorists are responsible for over 98 percent of all the murders and 87 percent of all of the injuries committed by foreign-born terrorists over this time.  Of the small number of foreign-born terrorists who committed attacks or were convicted of planning to do so on U.S. soil from 1975 through the end of 2017, the most successful strategy was to first enter legally.  There is no evidence that that pattern of activity has changed.

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