"Indignation continues to mount on the right over the killing of a 32-year-old white woman in San Francisco last week, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented Mexican immigrant. Following the lead of Donald Trump, who last week used the incident to demand tougher immigration enforcement, GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Rand Paul on Wednesday called for an end to "sanctuary city" policies such as the one in San Francisco, which had allowed the alleged shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, to roam free despite an outstanding federal deportation order."

Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson looks into whether "Sanctuary Cities" have higher or lower crime rates (they have lower rates of violent crime) and if undocumented immigrants commit more or less crime. (Less. Significantly less.) He finds that there is more crime in cities like Phoenix where "illegals" are actively targeted by police, speculating with some support that this is because this targeting poisons community relations with the police.

I personally think sanctuary laws are a band-aid, but they clearly point toward what a rational immigration policy could achieve if it were permitted to exist and more generally, I think they also support an argument against a change in police training and practice, pointing toward Community Policing.

Obviously this is a contentious political issue but I'm really not interested in the usual political arguments. I'm interested in what works, and what approaches, however justified, rationalized, excused or promoted, would lead to lower crime rates and more livable cities.


Makes sense to me. The more things you criminalize and thus draw police into the more reason people have not to respond positively to police. Decriminalizing drugs goes a long way. I'd also argue that decriminalizing child support debt could go a long way toward preventing incidents like the murder of Walter Scott.

posted by graphictruth: 1460 days ago