How Vox Misleads the Public About Immigrant Crime

By Pedro Gonzalez|
August 27th, 2018

As frequently as Vox comes to the defense of America’s worst criminals, one should be accustomed to the steady stream of misinformation churned out by these self-appointed “news explainers.” What followed from Vox after Mollie Tibbetts’ murderer turned out to be an illegal alien, however, warrants a response.

German Lopez, a writer for Vox, asks us to put aside our pain and our anger at the murder of yet another American citizen at the hands of an illegal alien. After accusing Fox News of being no less misleading than Vox, Lopez condescendingly reminds us to not “lose sight of the bigger picture” and remember most of all: “In the U.S., immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes than their native-born peers.”

What is implied above is that white American citizens are more likely to commit crimes than their brown noncitizen counterparts. Vox, after all, is a rabidly anti-white rag that has joined other Jacobin sheets (Salon, Slate, HuffPost) in defending Sarah Jeong’s incorrigible anti-white racism. But I digress. What Lopez surely knows is that crime rates vary by race and ethnicity.

In a response to a similar sophistical claim by Bret Stephens—that the native-born “are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of illegal immigrants”—Michael Anton writes: “The rate among blacks, for instance, is eight or nine times the rate among whites, depending on the offense. The white rate is much lower than the illegal immigrant rate (and the Asian rate is lower still).”

Indeed, if we consider the Latino crime rate alone, as we should, considering that Latinos make up the single largest immigrant group (and Tibbetts’ killer was Mexican), we find that although it is generally less than half the black crime rate, it is still several times the rate of crime among whites.

Certainly, Lopez assumed that readers would make these crucial distinctions on their own, despite himself having omitted them.

Lopez winds the column down with one of my favorite falsehoods: as second-generation immigrants “assimilate,” their penchant for crime increases, presumably because they’ve picked up awful habits from their Anglo peers, thus attaining “the American norm of more criminal activity.”

The key to the understanding the sophistry here is in the definition of “assimilation.”

If “assimilation” is defined as the ability of second-generation immigrants, as Alex Nowrasteh writes, to “serve in the military, purchase firearms, [and] serve on juries,” then one does not mean that second-generation immigrants have assimilated into Anglo-American cultural patterns, but rather that they have merely attained the rights of a citizen.

If we define assimilation in the traditional sense, the waysided “Anglo-conformity” model, we find that Latinos are no longer encouraged to adopt the cultural patterns that would likely keep them out of gangs.

Instead, Latinos learn to cultivate an ethnic “Raza” identity, one that paves an express lane to the narcoculture. Anti-Americanization has become a point of policy for progressives, one that Vox no doubt celebrates. But it is precisely this anti-Americanization culture that contributes to the rise among second and third generation immigrants falling into criminality.

Lopez does get one thing half-right, the “research can be messy, since it doesn’t always distinguish between undocumented and documented status.” More frequently, however, the problem is that the distinction between lawful and unlawful is deliberately blurred.

Here is what we do know. By 2000 in California, “nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born,” and this number has remained consistent through today. Heather Mac Donald informs us that the Los Angeles County sheriff “reported in 2000 that 23 percent of inmates in county jails were deportable.” By 2004, “95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide [in Los Angeles] (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target[ed] illegal aliens,” and as many as “two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) [were] for illegal aliens.”

While homicide may be a tragic fact of life, every homicide perpetrated by an illegal alien is one that could easily have been avoided simply by enforcing existing immigration laws. Americans should not lose sight of that bigger picture.