OPINION: You Should Question Trump’s MS-13 Stats If You Want To Get Sleep At Night

Raoul Lowery-Contreras | Author, Murder in the Mountains

For those that hide in their basements and closets, arm themselves with shotguns and lose sleep night after night because there is an illegal alien crime wave led by gangsters from El Salvador — the vicious gangsters in President Trump’s “MS-13” narrative — you can rest easy; there isn’t an illegal alien crime wave and MS-13 barely exists.

Here’s what Trump has wrong about MS-13, according to ProPublica:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called MS-13 the most brutal of the gangs driving the drug trade … experts have found the gang has barely any role in the international drug trade. The Congressional Research Service said that it could be misleading to call MS-13 a transnational criminal organization at all because it has no central leader or global ambitions.

In a phrase, MS-13 is no “Mexican Mafia,” a real gang.

In fact, MS-13 has about 10,000 members, the amount MS-13 had in 2005, according to Newsweek’s “The Most Dangerous Gang in America” article. The math: law enforcement estimates there are 1.4 million documented gang members nationwide. Ten-thousand divided by 1.4 million is 0.007 percent.

Big deal, Mr. President.

Trump Suprema supporter and “anorexic-looking” writer Ann Coulter wrote in her book “Adios America” that there are 36 million illegal aliens in the United States. That is three times the accepted estimates of the Trump administration, Pew Research and most observers and commentators who study the situation.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson promotes a bogus study from some graduate student at MIT and two Yale professors claiming their research indicates 22-million illegal aliens in the U.S.

Bogus study? Yes. Or, in the words of Mohammad Fazel-Zarendi, the MIT researcher who helped create the 22-million illegal alien estimate: “Are our numbers foolproof? No. But while our models are based on a number of assumptions and uncertainties…”

Face it, Mr. Researcher, far more “assumptions and uncertainties” than observers at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security use every day in the normal course of their work and duties. Ditto — Pew Research and Center for Migration Studies.

Thanks, Mr. Fazel-Zarendi. Amateurish estimates of border crossers and visa over-stayers make no sense at all and fit into the Ann Coulter School of Amateurism. One will notice that no one in the Trump administration including Mexican-hating White House staffer Stephen Miller is promoting the study or its conclusions.

Now, let us get back to illegal alien crime; we’ve disposed of the MS-13 myth perpetrated by the Trump administration, but what about President Trump’s claim at a rally on Monday, November 5 — the day before the mid-term election — i.e. that 1,800 Americans (a year? He didn’t say) are killed by illegal aliens, the kind walking through Mexico to the United States in a “caravan” from Central America.

President Trump has no idea how many Americans are killed by illegal aliens. No one does. But there are two other numbers kicked around by those who are virulently hostile to immigrants, legal and illegal.

One is by controversial Iowa Congressman Steve King who endorsed a White Supremacist for Mayor of Toronto, Canada and the other by Mary Ann Mendoza (she is not Hispanic, her name is) whose police officer son was killed in his patrol car when a drunken illegal alien crashed his vehicle into the patrol car.

King claimed in a 2006 speech that “12 Americans” a day would live if illegals weren’t in the U.S. That is 4,380 a year. Mary Ann Mendoza claims she came up with 63,000 American deaths at the hands of illegal aliens since 2001. King came up with his figure out of thin air.

Mendoza, obviously not a researcher, relied on a study conducted by the Government Accountability Office published in 2011 that studied 1000 prison and local jail inmates who were foreign-born (no distinction as to legal residency) and incarcerated between 2004 and 2008.

She arrived at the 63,000 figure the study didn’t by adding the years 2001-2004 and 2008 until 2016 on her own, calculating the 63,000 figure without any input from government sources.

In other words, 63,000 is a fantasy of hers just as King’s 12 Americans murdered daily is.

Real numbers from the state of Texas related by CATO Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh:

In 2016, 746 native-born Texans, 32 illegal immigrants, and 28 legal immigrants were convicted of homicide. In that year, the homicide conviction rate for native-born Americans in Texas was 3.2 per 100,000 natives while it was 1.8 per 100,000 illegal immigrants and 0.9 per 100,000 legal immigrants (Figure 1). The illegal immigrant conviction rate for homicide was 44 percent below that of native-born Americans in 2016 in Texas.

Imagine that. Now add in the bogus estimates of illegal aliens in the United States by Ann Coulter’s 36 million illegal aliens and VOILA! The 1.8 per 100,000 illegal aliens actually convicted in Texas of murder would be – using Coulter’s figure – 0.6 per 100,000. That’s one-fifth of native-born Americans.

Or, as the highly paid anti-immigrant Executive Director of the suspect Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Mark Krikorian admits, “A lot of data does suggest immigrants are less likely to be involved in crime.”

Congressman King? Ms. Mendoza? Mr. Trump?

Contreras is the author of “The Armenian Lobby & U.S. Foreign Policy” and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade;” he formerly wrote for the New America News Service of the New York Times and was a member of the International Seafarers Union in the 1960s


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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