Saturday, January 1, 2011

‘The El Paso Miracle’

Below is an excerpt from an article, "Murder in America," written by David J. Krajicek posted on The Crime Report. The excerpt examines the "miracle" number of murders in El Paso, Texas:

Perhaps the most captivating homicide story in the U.S. this year is what some call “the El Paso Miracle.”

The southwest Texas city of 600,000 had recorded just three homicides through mid-December, down from an annual average of about 15 over the past decade. Meanwhile, Ciudad Juarez, its twin city across the Rio Grande, had more than 3,000 murders for the year, an average of about 10 per day.

Seattle, with the same population as El Paso, will finish the year with about 20 murders. Baltimore, only slightly larger, recorded 210 murders through Dec. 15.

“What’s intriguing is how the enormous numbers of homicides in Juarez attributed to the drug cartels have failed to traverse across the border,” said Blumstein. “It’s an impressive indication that El Paso—the police and the border patrol and so forth—has done a good job of guarding the border to keep the cartels out of this country.”

Rosenfeld said El Paso, with a vast number of Mexican immigrants among a population that is more than half Latino, disproves the conventional wisdom that equates immigration and crime.

“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that El Paso puts the lie to the idea that immigration produces high levels of violent crime,” he said. “If anything, immigration has the opposite effect. Generally speaking, we don’t find comparatively high homicides for cities with large numbers of immigrants.”

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