Pando

Trump doubles down on racism, so let's look at some numbers

By David Holmes , written on July 7, 2015

From The Equality Desk

Last month, US presidential candidate and toupee’d turdmonger Donald Trump caught heat for referring to virtually all Mexican immigrants as “rapists.”

Such a blanket statement is clearly racist, and Trump’s media partners Univision and NBC, which air Trump’s Miss America and Miss Universe pageant swiftly dropped his programming.

Many conservative commentators were quick to label  as “too PC” the response from the so-called Mainstream Media – aka the epithet given to every news outlet that isn’t the wildly popular (mainstream, even!) Fox News. Adopting a tone that ostensibly prioritized “facts” over emotion – a rare rhetorical flourish among Republicans – pundits like Ann Coulter were quick to point out that U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) had deported over 2,000 immigrant sex offenders a year since 2011.

But while that’s undoubtedly a disturbing statistic, it’s woefully lacking in context – context that reveals immigrations to be three times less likely than average Americans to commit sex crimes. As I wrote last week:

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.

So not only is Trump a despicable racist, he’s also flat-out wrong.

Nevertheless, America’s number one dickbag doubled down on the comments today, and adding “infectious diseases” to the list of things Mexicans are liable to bring to the states. In the words of NSFWCORP alum and Daily Beast writer Olivia Nuzzi, “Trump issued a statement Monday to clarify that when he said illegal immigrants from Mexico were rapists he actually meant illegal immigrants from Mexico were rapists.”

So if Trump’s sticking to his story, let’s trot out a few more statistics that make his argument look even dumber than it already is.

Trump’s central argument surrounds the notion that immigrants are criminals. But that disparity we reported between the number of immigrant sex offenders versus those in the general population holds true for all crimes. According to the FBI, in 2014 there were 3,690.5 arrests in the US per 100,000 people. That accounts for 3.7 percent of the US population. Assuming the nationwide conviction rate, which has held steady at around 93 percent over the past few years, that means 3.4 percent of the US population is convicted of a crime each year.

According to ICE, the number of immigrants convicted of a crime and subsequently removed from the country was 177,960. Meanwhile, Pew estimates that there are 11.2 million “unauthorized immigrants” in the United States, which means only 1.6 percent of these undocumented residents have been convicted of a crime – or a little under half of the percentage for the general population. That includes the “rapists” and “murderers” invoked by Trump, but it also includes petty misdemeanor offenses.

What it does not include are immigrants caught committing the crime of entering the country illegally. But for the sake of argument, let’s throw in the 122,682 immigrants who were apprehended while entering the country. That still only brings the grand total unauthorized immigrant offenders to 2.6 percent – still less than the broader percentage of those arrested in America.

Trump will surely continue to play up the scary stereotypes of Mexican drug dealers and gangbangers, and he’ll likely continue to be enabled by certain conservative wings of the press. But unlike Trump, the data doesn’t lie.