Sorry, Trump: Average Texans are 3 times more likely to have committed sex crimes than undocumented immigrants
Every four years, the world promises itself that, this election season, things will be different.
That no matter how crazy or offensive or tasteless the braindead mutterings Donald Trump conjures into existence like a toxic fart armada, Americans will finally stop paying attention to him. And that the phantom we’ve allowed into our homes -- through our own weakness for controversy -- will shrivel up like a penis in Antarctica and die.
Like all trolls, Trump feeds on our shocked gasps. Without them, there is nothing newsworthy about this angry, sad man, who’s a bit like that pathetic uncle who spends every Thanksgiving holding forth on the economic failures of “Obama’s America” -- except that Uncle Cletus has only declared bankruptcy once, not three times like Trump has.
No, we tell ourselves, this ends now.
And yet, every election season, the man whose business failures make Solyndra look like Apple, Inc., says something so outrageously dumb that we’re pulled back into Trump’s compacted rectum where fact is fiction, up is down, and the stench is unbearable.
This time, the Trump news cycle centers around comments he made in his announcement speech, painting virtually all Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” (“Some, I assume, are good people,” Trump added, magnanimously.)
The reaction from the Left – and Trump’s media partners, Univision and NBC, both of which deserted him – was disgust. There was simply no other possible response for his opponents to this bald -- or combed over -- display of racism.
Trump has tried to defend his statements as being rooted in empirical evidence and data. In an interview this week with CNN’s Don Lemon, Trump thought he was being magnificently clever by citing an article from the Univision-owned news site Fusion to back up his claims.
The article has little to do with rape perpetrated by Mexican immigrants living in America, however. Instead, the story reveals disturbing and appalling estimates that 80 percent of women crossing through Mexico to enter the US without legal status are raped on their journey.
While the article cites “other migrants” as among the perpetrators, it says the majority of those accused of rape are people who remain in Mexico – gang members, human traffickers, and corrupt authorities – who take advantage of the women’s lack of legal recourse when they are sexually assaulted.
Of course, Trump couldn’t care less about the plight of raped immigrant women. To him, they’re just another way to score points in the culture war.
But there’s another equally insidious group on the Right that’s casting this controversy as yet another example of liberals being too PC to face the ugly truths about the criminal element among immigrants into the US.
According to the outlet, the most convincing statistic supporting Trump’s claims – and one I’ve seen repeated in conservative, “Twitter egg” corners of social media – is that in Texas, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported over 2,000 undocumented immigrants as sex offenders in each of the past three years.
That sounds like a horrific statistic – and in many ways it is. Sex crimes are awful offenses, especially when the victim is a child, which was true in 27 percent of the cases.
But what the statistic sorely lacks is context. And when evaluated against other pieces of data pertaining to sex crimes in Texas, it becomes clear that immigrants are not more likely to have committed these offenses than the average Texan. In fact, immigrants are far less likely.
According to the non-profit Crimes Victim Center, there are 83,709 registered sex offenders in the state of Texas. A total of 27 million people live in Texas which means that the likelihood that the average resident is a sex offender is just 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, there are an estimated 1.6 million undocumented immigrants living in Texas, according to Pew. That means those 2,000 deported sex offenders make up only 0.1 percent of Texas’ total undocumented immigrants. That’s right -- the average Texan is three times more likely to commit a sex crime than an undocumented immigrant.
The Coulters of the world might argue that the 2,000 figure is still understating the issue because it’s not a total. It’s the number of immigrants deported each year, which means that the true number of immigrant sex offenders is much higher. But most of those 1.6 million undocumented immigrants enter and leave the country through a revolving door. We know this because, according to the Migration Policy Institute, between 2000 and 2009 the absolute growth of immigrants in Texas was 1,086,000 people. So either immigration growth screeched to a halt in 2009 or – a more likely scenario – the ebb and flow of immigrants entering and leaving the country is enormously fluid, and therefore the statistical likelihood of an undocumented immigrant committing a sex crime is still impressively low.
It’s perhaps no surprise that the “facts” trotted out by the notoriously anti-fact Republican Party leave much to be desired. But it’s important to expose this, anyway. Because while few would argue that the Left doesn’t have good taste and decency on their side, it can’t let its opponents distort the narrative by suggesting that liberals are simply over-emotional slaves to political correctness who will throw logic and reality under the bus in the name of niceness.