Josh Marshall succinctly sums up the lies behind Trump’s claim that the Democrats are for “open borders” that lead to “rampant crime.”
First, in 2013 the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, the most recent iteration of so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’ The bill was a mix of things both parties wanted, substantial funding for border security along with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country, etc. Here’s the actual text of the bill. The bill had critics on the right and left. But it included a huge amount of money and laws for border security and efforts to prevent illegal immigration. It is demonstrably not an ‘open borders’ bill. All 52 Democratic Senators voted for it as did the two independents who caucus with the Democrats. This is the clearest, most concrete and dispositve evidence that this repeated claim by Trump, Sanders et al. is a provable lie.
Second, “rampant crime.” The through line connecting all of President Trump’s rants about immigration policy is that immigration is a security issue, that there is a clear connection between the scale of immigration and crime. This is false. All credible studies, approaching the question from a variety of angles, find that immigrants – legal and not – commit crime at a dramatically lower rate than native born Americans. The scale is striking, ranging from 50% the rate of the native born to as low as 20%. Here are studies from The National Academy of Sciences, National Bureau of Economic Research, CATO. Here’s an overview of research from the Times.
The evidence is consistent and overwhelming. Immigrants commit crime at dramatically lower rates than the native born. And large influxes of immigrants actually appear to bring the crime rate down in areas of high concentration. Immigration does not drive up crime rates at all. If crime is our guide we should bring in more undocumented immigrants and boot some native scofflaws. The entire premise of Trump’s immigration arguments are based on a demonstrable lie.
If we spent more time talking about the lies and bullshit put out by Sara Huckabee Sanders — and less about where she had dinner — we would be a lot further along with holding her and the rest of them to account, and a lot closer to the truth.