Richard Nadler cites my observation that “10% of the [California] prison population consists of illegals,” then adds: “But if federal incarceration statistics are any guide, more than half of Hispanic incarcerations are for immigration violations, not for drug offenses, larcenies, or crimes of violence. If so, illegals, at 8% of California’s population, are rather less crime prone than natives.”
Federal incarceration statistics are in fact no guide at all to the California prison population. State prisons do not imprison people on federal charges; federal prisons do. Immigration violations are federal charges; illegals being imprisoned on immigration violations are in federal, not state, prisons. State prisons hold people who have broken state criminal laws — the classic criminal statutes against murder, rape, robbery, theft, assault, drug trafficking, etc. Illegals in California prison are being incarcerated on such charges and are in fact overrepresented, compared to their population, but not by much.
Pace Richard, the costs of illegals’ American-born children are rightly attributed to illegal immigration. Does Richard think that these children were conceived by immaculate conception? The costs of illegals’ children, which we are asking taxpayers to bear, are a foreseeable consequence of their decision to enter the country in violation of our immigration laws. And those costs are mounting. “With no evidence of an imminent turnaround in the rate at which Latino students are either graduating from high school or obtaining college degrees, it appears that both a regional and national catastrophe are at hand,” write Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras in The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies. Nowhere are those education costs higher than in California, whose school systems are struggling with high Hispanic drop-out rates and academic underachievement.
For several years, Hispanics have been the largest contributors to the country’s stunning illegitimacy crisis. The birth rate for unmarried Hispanic women is 106 births per 1,000 unmarried women, compared to 72 births per 1,000 unmarried women for blacks, 32 per 1,000 unmarried women for whites, and 26 per 1,000 unmarried women for Asians, per the most recent CDC data. The illegitimacy rate increased the fastest for unmarried Hispanic women (20 percent) between 2002 and 2006, compared to whites (14 percent) and blacks (9 percent). Only the Asian rate rose faster than Hispanics (24 percent), but from a base rate that was almost five times lower than that of Hispanics.
I don’t know how Richard would categorize such costs, but they are rightly considered when we decide what our immigration policy should be, in my opinion.