Local Crime Data Confirms Suspected Trend

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Data collected by our neighboring town of Herndon appears to confirm that the growing population of illegal aliens in this area is resulting in an increase in certain crimes.

Anecdotally, longtime local residents have been saying that the increasing number of illegal aliens beginning about five years ago has resulted in a corresponding increase in crime and neighborhood blight. Loudoun County public safety officials have told me personally that there has been a direct relationship between the increase in illegal immigration and an increase in gang activity and violent crime.

Now, there seems to be hard data confirming the trend, according to this story in the local Compass newspaper.

The table shows that "Group A" crimes among Hispanics more than doubled over the 3-year period - from 102 arrests in 2002 to 236 arrests in 2004. Arrests among Hispanics in 2004 were more than double the number for non-Hispanics - 236 versus 98.

Left out of the Compass story is any discusson of whether the data allows for distinguishing between crimes committed by the legal vs illegal Hispanic populations. I suspect the assumption is, as reflected by both sides of the 2005 debate over the Herndon day labor center, that the largest share of Hispanic population increase in the town are illegal aliens. But this does need to be based in fact and it's something I will look into.

The story also notes that the Virginia State Police require that all jurisdictions collect this data so we will be asking our Loudoun County officials about this.

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Kevin said:

Also left out is any discussion of convictions. People are innocent until proven guilty, even if you round up all the Hispanics.

Interested to know if you find anything about about the legal status.

Also, out of curiousity, what isn't a "Group A" crime? (It looks like in the article a couple of the crimes were listed twice.)

Last night we had the same anecdotal reports about Loudoun from both the sheriff and a former deputy who is running for sheriff - that the increase in crime is among the Hispanic community and the majority is due to illegal immgration. The former point could be indisputable, I suppose, if they are indeed tracking ethnicity as Herndon is. The latter would probably require an FOIA request to find out.

My guess: Most illegal immigrants are simply here to work and send money home, and keep a low profile. However the increase in gang activity which accompanies the illegal alien community is directly related to the increase in local violent crimes. Because this was a relatively low crime area up until 5 or 7 years ago, it has not taken much to increase the percentages.

I'll grant you can't say "blame it on the illegals" with complete accuracy because it implies ALL of the illegal aliens are criminals, which they clearly are not. You can say "blame it on the trend" with pretty good accuracy, however.

Kevin said:

"People are innocent until proven guilty, even if you round up all the Hispanics." Without a doubt that is true, but anyone, REGARDLESS OF RACE, is guilty of immigration crime if they are not in the country legally.

Joe, you make an excellent point in stating that it may be that the majority of illegal immigrants are otherwise law abiding citizens who contribute a boatload in taxes and revenue and labor, save for being here without documentation; and that within the illegal immigrant population there are also certain individuals for whom breaking the law to get into the country simply was not daring enough, was not to feed a family back home, was not to escape a life of institutionalized oppression.

And there are plenty of crimes listed on that list of "Group A" crimes in the article that are not violent; at least one may not even be a crime (definition needs to be clarified some, but I think I may know what was meant).

Interesting, indeed.

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