Trump Half Right on Immigration, Hispanic Crime
Real estate billionaire Donald Trump put himself in front of the Republican presidential pack right out of the starting gate with his charge that Mexican immigrants to this country tend in a disproportionate degree to be dangerous criminals. His popularity rose because he touched a very sensitive nerve in the conservative voting public. It is an issue that has been simmering for quite a long time, and it is one that divides the elite ruling class—particularly the mainstream media—from a large part of the general public.
The divide between the rulers and the ruled in our putative democracy could hardly be on better display than in this passage from the American Media Institute’s report on Trump’s choice to head up his campaign in Virginia:
[Corey] Stewart is no stranger to political events or controversy. He was elected to the board of fast-growing Prince William County in 2003. He became chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 2007, and turned his attention to county policies regarding illegal immigration.
The result was a county-wide crackdown on illegals suspected of criminal activity. According to his campaign website, Stewart says: "Prince William County law enforcement officers turned over more than 7,500 criminal illegal aliens to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency."
Riding the wave of notoriety this effort brought him in Virginia and nationwide, Stewart in 2012 became the first Republican to announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor. He led the polls through much of the campaign but finished third at the 2013 convention.
I would imagine that most members of our out-of-touch media and those people who still allow the media to do their thinking for them would read these three paragraphs and see nothing amiss. But isn’t the writer crediting Stewart with a really acrobatic political feat, “riding a wave of notoriety?” And let’s take a closer look at how Stewart gained that supposed notoriety. He simply encouraged the police in his jurisdiction to check on the immigration status of people they arrested for crimes in the normal course of their law-enforcement duties. If it turned out that those arrested were in the country illegally the police were to turn their names over to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation. That this is not routinely done everywhere in the country already is probably a surprise to a lot of people.
For Stewart to see to it that it be done in Prince William County contributed to the wave of popularity, not notoriety, that he rode in statewide polling, but the current Republican Party kingmakers proceeded to kneecap him at their convention that they used this last time to choose the candidate. That candidate then proceeded to lose the lieutenant governor’s race to a Democrat, giving up a key position that their man, Bill Bolling, had held. In cutting down Stewart the way that they did they showed how disconnected they are with grassroots sentiment among their natural conservative constituency. As I write this, they are poised to go themselves one better by requiring voters to sign a pledge to vote Republican in the general election before they can vote in their upcoming presidential primary.
The Washington Post’s article on Trump’s choice of Prince William’s Stewart is still more revealing:
Like Trump, Stewart is a blunt and outspoken Republican advocate of cracking down on illegal immigration. A local law he championed that allows county police to check the immigration status of anyone they arrest made him a pariah to liberal Democrats and advocacy groups, especially after Virginia officials approved a statewide law with the same provisions a year later.
What that sounds like to me is that Stewart has his finger on the pulse of the average Republican voter, nay, the average American citizen. Isn’t it a surefire political winner to be in favor of something that makes so much common sense and only stirs up the ire of “liberal Democrats and advocacy groups?” They make up only a small part of the general population, and that proportion might even be growing smaller as reaction sets in against their “political correctness” and “salad bowl” as opposed to “melting pot” notion of what the country should be. The Post goes on to say:
Stewart’s county is a presidential bellwether for Virginia, an increasingly purple state that is considered a must-win for whoever will next occupy the White House. It is home to a growing number of Latinos and Muslims who are rallying against Trump, as well as a sizable number of white middle-class voters, a demographic that has been drawn to the billionaire developer’s pledge to fix the economy and “make America great again.”
Although unemployment in the county has steadily declined since 2010 (the current rate is 4.2 percent), the median household income has stayed below $100,000, U.S. Census Bureau estimates show — considerably less than in neighboring Loudoun and Fairfax counties. The number of residents collecting food stamps has increased by 41 percent since 2010.
Prince William is also home to demographic changes that have unsettled longtime, mostly white residents who say they are worried about terrorism and other violent crime. Latinos make up about 21 percent of the county’s 430,000 residents, and Muslims are approaching 7 percent of the population.
If you add in the immigrants from other areas, particularly East Asia, that claim of the anti-Trump protestor at his Manassas rally that we mentioned in a previous article that forty percent of the residents of Prince William County speak a language other than English at home begins to look pretty close to the mark.
As I said in that previous article, I live near Manassas, where Trump had his rally on December 2. My walking route to the nearest supermarket takes me through an apartment complex that was not there when we moved here in 1983. It is a rare thing, indeed, when I ever see anyone there who appears to be a native-born American, either white or black. Even when I do, they might well turn out to be from Eastern Europe or from Africa. One can only wonder who owns the two cars sporting the “Trump for President” license plate holders that I have encountered there in recent weeks.
Donald Trump is the first serious national contender to make the flood of immigration to this country an issue since Patrick Buchanan in 1996. Buchanan, after winning the New Hampshire primary over Bob Dole, then proved himself not to be a serious candidate by not registering any public outrage over the obvious theft of the Arizona primary by those counting the votes. At that point the die was cast. If Buchanan could not ride the anti-immigration issue to victory in Arizona, of all places, and he would not protest such an obvious vote theft, his political goose was essentially cooked.
But now the immigration problem has gotten much worse and from the reaction that he is getting from the mainstream press there is every indication that Trump, the new anti-immigration candidate, is serious. On the immigration question, he is best known for that claim that Mexican immigrants are particularly prone to crime and for his promise that he would have a wall built along the entire border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants from that country out.
The charge and the proposal are both good as attention getters and as an indicator that Trump, unlike any national candidate since Buchanan, recognizes that we have an immigration problem. However, he needs to improve his focus. The national mainstream media, who all seem to endorse a more-the-merrier approach to the immigration question, were quick to point out that, overall, Mexican immigrants have somewhat lower crime rates than the national average. The main reason for that, though, is that the inner city crime rate, particular among young black males, is so high. One of the reasons for that is that their economic opportunities, both to obtain jobs or to obtain jobs that pay a living wage, have been foreshortened by competition with desperate immigrants, many of them Mexican.
That overall comparison also overlooks the fact that there are two types of serious crimes that are particularly prevalent in the Hispanic immigrant community, child rape and drunk driving. An organization in my native state of North Carolina, which has the fastest growing immigrant population in the country, North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (NCFIRE), has been particularly good at documenting the former type of crime in the Tar Heel State. You can see it on their web site.
The actual number of sexual assaults on minors is probably greatly understated because of reluctance on the part of the immigrant Hispanic community to involve U.S. law enforcement officials in their lives. Inter-family vigilante-style justice is the preferred way of dealing with such offenses. One may surmise that more such assaults go unreported than those that do. There is a certain irony that as a general rule the same people who champion women’s rights also celebrate the greater “diversity” in our culture that immigration brings when, in fact, a big feature of that diversity in the immigrant Hispanic community is the abuse of women, particularly the newly nubile ones.
The fact that the victims of such crimes are also primarily within the Hispanic community causes them to be overlooked by the general public. That most non-immigrants should hardly care about it is understandable. If they or their loved ones aren’t threatened by it, why should they care? There’s enough going on in the world to get worked up about. Both the victims and the perpetrators might just as well still be in Mexico for all they care.
The Hispanic Drunk-Driving Danger
Drunk driving, on the other hand, is a horse of an entirely different color. That problem is barely hinted at on the NCFIRE page with a little click-on down at the bottom called “N.C. Victims Killed by Illegal Aliens.” I began to become aware of the problem from horror stories I heard from friends in North Carolina about pedestrians and other automobile drivers and passengers killed or injured by Hispanic drunk drivers. Then some years ago during the Christmas holiday season I happened into a McDonald’s off I-95 just south of Washington, DC. It was in either Prince William or the next county down, Stafford. There on the door of the restaurant was a taped-on sign announcing the availability of a free ride home for people too inebriated to drive. The notice was entirely in Spanish.
A couple of recent fatal car crashes on the Maryland side of the District have brought the problem further into focus. First, in Prince George’s County a drunk Hispanic man collided with a church van and killed four people while he was attempting to flee from the scene of a previous accident. A few days later in Montgomery County another drunk Hispanic man hit and killed a young police officer on the side of the road who had just given a summons to another driver and was returning to his cruiser.
As my former professorial colleagues might say, this is nothing but anecdotal evidence. It doesn’t prove anything. Well, as they say on the informercials on TV, “Wait, there’s more.” These first two paragraphs from an article on the Alcoholism Rehab web site say it all:
A perplexing federal study says among the Hispanic population, car accidents are the third leading cause of fatalities – a trend likely attributed to drunk driving, substance abuse and social factors to maintain an overly-masculine attitude. In fact, the report also showed that in comparison to other races, Hispanic drivers represented a higher number of arrests and crashes for driving under the influence. Even more alarming, the study reported that car accidents are the chief cause of death for Hispanic young adults.
Issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the report was published in 1995. At that time, only 9 percent of drivers across the nation were Hispanic – but overall, 21 percent of arrests for driving under the influence were Hispanic drivers. Furthermore, Hispanic drivers were part of automobile accidents more often than black or Caucasian populations. While car crashes represented the third primary cause of fatalities across the entire Hispanic population, they were also the second most common cause of death among Hispanics aged 24-44 years old and the primary cause of fatalities for those in the younger category of 17 to 24 years old.
The article goes on to say, “Other research statistics show that many Hispanics arrested for drunk driving may be illegal aliens; many others have been arrested previously for driving while intoxicated.” That is to say, the federal study, done 20 years ago but never publicized, confirms what those of us who don’t let the mainstream media do our thinking for us have noticed. They want us to fear the threat of terrorism, but the fact is that if we get near a highway almost anywhere in this country we are many thousands of times more endangered by a drunk Hispanic motorist, even an illegal—excuse me—undocumented Hispanic immigrant than we are by any terrorist.
The article’s conclusion would make a good rallying cry for Trump’s campaign: “Overall, the Hispanic population represents the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, making the study findings extremely important in considering steps to help save lives and prevent injuries. Study results could also influence immigration and deportation laws.”
One can only say, “Let’s hope so.” But our fine news media apparently didn’t find the study’s findings to be all that important. It’s just not the sort of thing that they like to publicize. It wasn’t from a mainstream publication that I learned of the most revealing facts in a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on Hispanic drunk driving, but from a law firm’s web site. Their article is titled “Latinos and Hispanics at Greater Risk of DUI Related Incidents.” Here’s a revealing passage:
The report cites a 2002 study by Ferguson, Burns, Fiorentino, William, and Garcia where Latino male drivers from Long Beach, CA were surveyed to determine if the overrepresentation of DUI related incidents was the result of lack of knowledge of DUIs and DUI laws or a disregard for them. The results showed that Mexican-American DUI offenders “vastly overestimated the number of drinks required to make them unsafe drivers (8 to 10 drinks).” The study also found that “fewer than half of Mexican-Americans were aware of the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit in California (.08g/dL) compared with between 60 percent and 78 percent of Whites.”
It takes no more than a fairly well cultivated sense of self-preservation to feel a sense of uneasiness over the fact that this is the “fastest growing segment of the population.”
In fairness, some members of the mainstream press have taken note of this tendency of Hispanics to drive drunk. This is from USA Today:
According to the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center, 7.04% of Hispanic drivers involved in crashes in the state in 2005 were suspected of driving while intoxicated. That compares with 2.82% of whites in crashes and 2.29% of African-Americans, according to Eric Rodgman, a researcher at the center.
That rate of drunk driving connected to accidents of over three times as great for Hispanics as for either whites or blacks is completely in accord with what my friends had observed.
Even some decidedly liberal news organs have acknowledged the problem, but check out the spin that National Public Radio puts on its report, “Drinking and Driving Plagues Latino Immigrants.”
The influx of Hispanic immigrants to some parts of the U.S. has led to a problem on the highways. In many states, Hispanics account for a disproportionate number of drunk driving deaths. In North Carolina where the Latino population has grown by more than a third in this decade, alcohol-related crashes have become a leading killer of Latinos. And as NPR's Adam Hochberg reports, community groups are trying to reverse that trend.
You’d think that they were all out on the highway by themselves. How about the rest of us? One must wonder if Renee Montagne could have brought herself to mouth those lines if one of her loved ones had been one of those victims.
The Huffington Post was even worse than NPR. Here is the title that it put on its article about that 2010 NHTSA report: “Latinos at Greater Risk of Dying from Driving While Intoxicated.” One can also learn from the government report that they are also more likely to kill someone else, Latino or otherwise, with their drunk driving, but this fact would appear to be of no concern to the Huffington Post folks. Is it any wonder that Trump’s attacks on the media draw even bigger applause than his talk of building a wall to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico out?
About that Wall
As we have said, Donald Trump’s talk of building a very substantial wall on the Mexican border might be good for its symbolic value, but let us hope that he has a somewhat deeper understanding of the immigration problem. Such a wall could be built and it would not surprise me at all if it didn’t make any more than a small dent in illegal immigration. That is because a substantial percentage—which would only grow higher with the construction of the wall—of the illegal immigrants arrive in the country as legal immigrants and then become illegal when they stay in the country after the period of their visa has expired. Probably the main form of such visa abuse is through the government-sanctioned guest-worker program that goes by the labels H-1 and H-2.
As widely abused as a means to swell the illegal immigrant population as these programs have been, they still enjoy the promotion and protection of the mainstream American press. We can see that in the series of articles that I have written on the subject, most recently “Wrist Slap for Top Alien Smuggler?” The press support for these programs, and their blacking out of the news of their abuses, shows that as a means of circumventing legal restrictions on immigration they have the full support of the nation’s power elite.
So intentionally poor has national news coverage been of this scandal that it would not surprise me if Trump were not even aware of it. He has in all likelihood used H-2B foreign workers in various hotels and resorts that he owns without even knowing how badly the program has been abused as a means to swell the number of illegal immigrants in the country.
Up to now, Trump may be given the benefit of the doubt for not talking about cleaning up the H-2 mess as part of his immigration message, but that excuse may have reached its expiration date. Just two days ago, the growing online publication BuzzFeed broke the wall of silence on the subject with a powerful article called “The Coyote.” The lead writer of the article, Ken Bensinger, formerly worked for The Los Angeles Times. It is very hard to believe that he would have been permitted to write such an article by that newspaper or by The New York Times or The Washington Post.
Let us hope that this BuzzFeed article is the signal of the dawning of a new day in American journalism, but I’m not getting my hopes up quite yet. From the national news media perspective, it may be no more than a #14 in the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression, a “bump and run.” My guess is, unfortunately, that the rest of the press will ignore these revelations and that we may well have heard the last of the subject from BuzzFeed itself.
As for Trump, we might begin to judge him as a serious leader and not just a demagogue when and if he begins to talk about truly serious and effective ways to deal with the illegal immigration problem such as cleaning up the guest-worker mess. He would make a step in the right direction by issuing a ringing endorsement for the sort of simple policy changes that his own Virginia campaign manager has instituted in Prince William County.
December 31, 2015
* Knowing how unpopular the American ruling establishment has become, the folks at the AMI claim not to speak for it, but their writings give them away:
The American Media Institute was founded by veterans of the The Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest. Our driving principle is the fearless pursuit of the truly important stories that you can be the first to break. Our reporters hale from some of the most trusted news outlets in the country, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and others. Our writers and editors earned their stripes in the Establishment powerhouses—without ever joining the Establishment mindset.
They could have fooled me. And their notion of “most trusted” certainly differs from mine.