It's been proven over and over again: Governor Jan Brewer's hysteria and the hysteria of her nativist allies over alleged illegal-alien-perpetrated crime in Arizona is founded on anecdotal evidence, some of it glaringly inaccurate, such as Brewer's infamous claim that headless bodies have been found in the Arizona desert. That's a tale the governor finally had to admit was bogus.
But the FBI has once more shown that the alarmist rhetoric about rampant crime in Sand Land due to in influx of illegal aliens is bunk. Today's release of the FBI's 2009 numbers in "Crime in the United States" reveals that violent crime is down in Cactus Country, way down. Around fourteen percent down, to be exact.
In 2008, there were 31,274 incidents of violent crime in Arizona, a rate of 481.2 per 100,000 people. In 2009, there were 26,929, or 408.3 violent crimes per 100,000 persons. That's a 13.9 percent drop in the total numbers.
Murder, rape and robbery? All down in the Grand Canyon State.
Only Montana and South Dakota had larger drops in violent crime, percentage-wise.
I can already hear the nativists howling, "That's because all the brown folk are leaving Arid-Zona!" See, if crime is up, they think their point is made. It's the same when crime is down. Either way, they win and get to demonize Latinos.
But from 2007 to 2008 there was a five percent decline in violent crimes in Arizona. From 2006 to 2007, it was flat, at a one percent decline. From 2005 to 2006, it was also pretty flat, up by 1.4 percent.
In any case, the numbers do not support the contention that Arizona is awash in violent crime because of illegal immigration or any other reason.
Sorry, but murdered Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was but one man. His tragic death makes for a good talking point for the racists, but beyond that, it doesn't belie the fact that crime is down, not up, in Sand Land.
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