Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rand Study Mischaracterized by LA Times Op-Ed and Blog

A Rand Study is being mis characterized by an LA Times Op-Ed and LA Times ANTI Blog. The study says "Deportable immigrants released from the Los Angeles County jail system were no more likely to be rearrested than similar nondeportable immigrants released during the same period" yet the LA Times Blog and an LA Time Article say: "Illegal immigrants who have been deported at least once from the United States are far more likely than other immigrants to repeatedly commit crimes." The LA Times Op-Ed and Blog took one bullet from the study and spun it in order to create their mischaracterization. See both articles below. Reports:
Recidivism No Higher Among Deportable Immigrants Than Similar Nondeportable Immigrants
Deportable immigrants released from the Los Angeles County jail system were no more likely to be rearrested than similar nondeportable immigrants released during the same period, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today. Researchers say the findings suggest that illegal and other immigrants subject to deportation who are released into the community from a local jail do not pose a greater threat to public safety than non-deportable immigrants released at the same time. Researchers studied nearly 1,300 male immigrants released from jail over a 30-day period and followed them for a year to see whether there were differences in recidivism between the deportable and nondeportable immigrants. Immigrants who were deportable — deemed so because they entered the United States illegally, overstayed their visas or committed other violations — were no more likely to be rearrested during the study period when compared to similar legal or naturalized immigrants. “Our findings run counter to the notion that illegal immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to cycle in and out of the local criminal justice system,” said Laura Hickman, assistant professor with the Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute at Portland State University and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

The LA Times took were able to SPIN their articles based on one line in this report.
Hickman and co-author Marika Suttorp of RAND found that a higher percentage of deportable immigrants were rearrested at least once during the following year — 43 percent compared to 35 percent. But when researchers compared deportable immigrants to similar nondeportable immigrants — considering factors such as age, ethnicity, country of birth, and type of criminal arrest — the differences disappeared. Criminal justice research has shown that some groups are more likely than others to be rearrested. For example, younger people and those jailed on drug charges have higher rates of recidivism than other groups.
The results of this study are significant because the researchers were able to show that the difference in the simple percentages of rearrest between the groups (43 versus 35) was due to the influence of the other factors like age, ethnicity, and criminal history related to recidivism. When these factors were accounted for in the analysis, immigration status had no influence on rearrest.

Here is the LA Times Article. It takes one Leap from the point of the article and begins the mischaracterization: Op-Ed:
Illegal immigrants who return after deportation commit more crimes, study finds
In L.A. County, 75% of inmates who reenter the U.S. engage in more criminal activity within a year. The rate is less for illegal immigrants who have never been ordered to leave.
By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 8, 2008
Illegal immigrants who have been deported at least once from the United States are far more likely than other immigrants to repeatedly commit crimes, according to a study by the nonprofit Rand Corp.The data indicated that illegal immigrants, overall, were not a greater crime risk, according to the study, which looked at all inmates released from Los Angeles County Jail for a month in 2002.

Here is the LA Times Blog that totally skews the actual Study:
LA Times Blog writes:
Title: Illegal immigrants in our jails: Fuel to the fire
L.A. law enforcement officials have focused increasing resources on identifying and deporting illegal immigrants in the jail system. Now, there is some fresh evidence on the problem: According to a Rand study, illegal immigrants deported from the jail are highly likely to commit more crimes.
Anna (OpEd Author) did an interesting story this summer going inside the jail and looking at the process for deporting illegal immigrants. The report is likely to add to the debate over Jamiel's Law, which would permit Los Angeles police officers to arrest gang members for breaking U.S. immigration law.

It is no wonder that Arizonian, a commenter on my blog brought the LA Times Blog to me and asked me to blog about it. The entire study is mischaracterized and spun in an opposite direction. If we are going to use studies in our discussions, we need to look at the studies, make sure they are unbiased then discuss them from an open, honest perspective.


Walter Moore said...

I'm Walter Moore, the author of Jamiel's Law, and a candidate for Mayor of L.A.

I wrote an essay about this study and posted it on the "What's New?" page of my website:

The L.A. Times has a conflict of interest on illegal immigration, because it is owned by the same company that owns Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper.

If we got rid of illegal aliens, Hoy's circulation would plummet, as would its profits. But the L.A. Times never bothers to mention that fact.

Dee said...

Hi Walter,
Welcome to my blog.
I hope you come back often.
Both sides are welcome to participate in the Immigration debate here. We always discuss civilly. No profanity is alllowed.

I am curious about you Walter. I read your Bio and your platform on your website.
How many candidates have announced in LA? I see the following candidates on Google:
. Villaraigosa
. Moore (congratulations - you were 1st in google search)

Do you know anyone else running?
Are you running as an Independent?

Your platform - safe neighborhoods, standard of living, economy, fiscal reform, taxes, traffic.

End to Sanctuary City policies in LA?
Are you promoting ICE Raids?

Just curious regarding your views.

Dee said...

BTW, I do like your family pix and your dogs.
We have a family dog who is part of our family.

patriot said...

Mr. Moore if you are opposed to sanctuary cities and want to rid L.A. of illegal aliens, I applaud you!

The Arizonian said...

What the study finds is that illegal immigrants do not commit more crimes than legal immigrants.

Immigrants who were deportable — deemed so because they entered the United States illegally, overstayed their visas or committed other violations — were no more likely to be rearrested during the study period when compared to similar legal or naturalized immigrants.

Deportable= "unauthorized" immigrant
Undeportable= legal or naturalized immigrant

But they even let on that they did not compare to "native-born" citizens

The project did not examine whether immigrants as a group were more likely than native-born U.S. citizens to be rearrested.

So this does not really address the issue of immigrants causing more crime, it is nothing more than lip service.

The only way to settle this is to compare re-arrest records of immigrants vs. native born. Until then, people will be complaining.

Anonymous said...

Let me say something that i dont thing is in line with the thinking of the pros and i dont think is in line with the thinking of the antis

(1) i believe the statistics will show that on average illegal immigrants are not substantially more likely to commit crimes than legal immigrants. In and of itself illegal immigration does not cause more crime than legal immigration if you adjust for ethnicity.

(2) the vast majority of illegal immigrants are law abiding and work hard at tough jobs.

(3) the children of the illegal immigrants are us citizens. The children of illegal immigrants in los angeles generally assimilate. But they don't assimilate in to the general middle class anglo culture - they assimilate in to the "gangbanger" underclass culture. The children of illegal immigrants are US citizens. They are substantially more likely to join gangs and commit crimse as compared to other US citizens. In fact on almost any measure of social pathology the children of illegal immigrants are much more likely to be members of the "underclass" than children of US citizens

(4) there are a number of interesting phenomenon at work - first of all, children of latin american illegal immigrants to the los angeles area seem to adopt the habits of the underclass to a much greater degree than the children of asian illegal immigrants. So if you look at the children and grandchildren of illegal latin american immigrants in los angeles they are much more likely to be in jail, to get pregnant as teenagers, to drop out of school - to be unemployed - basically on any social pathology you cna measure the children and grandchildren of latin american immigrants seem to have much worse outcomes than the children of asian illegal immigrants.

(5) Indeed,if you want to measure the impact of illegal immigration, it is best to study the children and grandchildren of illegals. This is a topic that is generally avoided by both the pros and the antis, since these children and grandchildren are US CITIZENS and both sides try to avoid having a debate about US citizens.
The antis are particularly careful to avoid discussing this because they don't want to be seen as demonizing any citizens.

(6) The outcome for certain groups in the USA appear to differ very greatly than for other groups - even after the group has spent a very long time in the USA. For example, Chinese who immigrated to california 100 years ago faced severe discrimination, but their grandchildren and great grandchildren seem to be on average very affluent and well educated. On the other hand, anglo wasps who moved from the UK to the hills of west virginia 150 years ago seem to have produced grandchildren and great grandchildren that are doing pretty poorly - low levels of education, low levels of IQ, lots of alcoholism and pathology.

After 150 years, does it really matter who came legally and who came illegally? Who ever rembers. The key thing is that the Chinese seem to be paying high taxes and contributing to Silicon Valley's success and the "hillbilly type" anglos in West Virginia seem to be a drain on the taxpayer.

(7) I seem to have read somewhere that by and large the grandchildren of illegal latin immigrants to Texas seem to do much better in life than grandchildren of illegal alien immigrants to los angeles. can it be that the cost of living is much lower in texas so that a person growing up in texas can afford a small house and some semblance of a dignified churchgoing lower middle class lifestyle on even very modest earnings? So children of immigrants find a dignified law abiding life to be somewhat attractive?

On the other hand, the cost of housing and the overall level of violence in Los Angeles is so much higher that a law abiding life is less attractive?

(8) My last comment is as follows - Dee does not feel that the influx of undocumented in to the USA has done terrible damage to the USA. Is it possible that this is because she lives in Dallas and not in Los Angeles? As a frequent visitor to Dallas i can say that most of the city is doing just fine - Dallas has more fortune 500 HQs than any city except for NYC. Dallas has a robust housing market where you can if you want drop 15 million on a mansion in Highland Park, but you can also buy a nice home within commuting distance of downtown for not too much money. Dallas offers a pretty good lifestyle for hardworking middle income people. I suspect that if Dee lived in Los Angeles, she might have a different view of the impact of the undocumented. LA has truly been turned in to a darwinian despondent place by the influx of undocumented folks.

Just to name one example, the kind of black on brown violence that goes on in Los Angeles (google Jamiel Andre Shaw for more details) has no parallel in Dallas as for as i know.

Bottom line, if Dee lived in Los Angeles she might be the same person with the same values but she might have different views. Dee would not be living in Los Angels and writing an ANTI blog, but she might have devoted her passion to another humanitarian issue, not the issue of undocumented immigrants.

Dee said...

I do agree with you to a point regarding inner city issues.

I believe the new immigrants, legal or illegal, bring with them the values of their receiving country. For the vast majority, they are innocents, naively seeking the American Dream.

Once they get here, the newest immigrants strive to find a job, any job, often solicited by exploiting employers. Most work hard and are in fact exploited.

Around this time reality sets in. They are exploited. They realize they are viewed as illegal and are subject to ice raids, exploitation and some live in the poorest inner city locations, often subject to inner city gangs. Some who fall in to the inner city culture adopt the habits of the inner city culture, including the gang bangers. I do not believe this is the majority, but as the study indicates, the numbers are subject to demographics.

I believe America as a whole suffers from inner city issues including poverty, drugs, racial profiling. Some illegal immigrants, if based in the inner city, may find themselves engulfed in their demographic.

As the studies indicate, this is fewer than the status quo of inner city America, but it reflects the same.

There are also countless numbers that are successful, strive for education and the American Dream, and do very well in our society, especially their children.

I believe the odds for success are much better for those that do not live in inner city America.

patriot said...

I don't know why there is any discussion about the so-called positives or negatives on the American people of illegals in this country or whether or not they are hard working or successful. The bottom line is that they are here illegally and must be deported according to our laws, either voluntarity or non-voluntarily. Any discussions other than the rule of law is either meant to illicit sympathy for them or jusify ones opposition to them. Neither is necessary or valid. The rule of law trumps everything.

Anonymous said...


i am very familiar with the fate of immigrants in all of s california.

what we have seen in s california is even in the rural and suburban areas, the children of illegal immigrants often have deep social pathologies - getting pregnant at 14, dropping out of school, joining violent gangs, going to prison, etc. Something in S california makes this happen - all over s california.

can you explain how it works in Dallas - if a typical illegal immigrant family moves to a safe clean neighborhood like plano do the kids generally grow up to avoid gangs and join the middle class?

The pathologies in LA extend in to the third, 4th and 5th generation - according to social scientists.

I know that the outcomes are much better in Dallas - i am trying to figure out if that depends on the location

bottom line - texas is more successful than s california and i want to understand why - i think it goes beyond the innner city / suburb issue

Anonymous said...

by the way, highland park is by far the most beautiful suburb in America. Much nicer than the residential part of Beverly Hills or La Jolla in my opinion. HP is a real treasure - i get the sense that owning a car is much cheaper for undocumented workers in Dallas than in Los Angeles so undocumented can drive to their jobs as nannies in Highland Park and have a reasonably pleasant commute while undocumented workers in East LA have to take the bus to west LA for their nanny jobs - a hellish three hour round trip each day.

i am just trying to have an honest discussion of the lifestyle differences for the undocumented in LA vs in Dallas or in CA vs Texas

I guess i really don't fit in to the debate on this board - i mean it is obvious to me that some of the undocumented now living in the usa will leave and others will be given an amnesty of some sort . I really don't know or care whether 5 million or ten million get amnesty. The real issue is that the USA is projected to get 100 million new legal immigrants coming in over the next few decades. These legal immigrants will mostly be from latin america. Both McCain and Obama support massive massive legal immigration from Latin America. It is coming.

I don't really care about the debate about the undocumented now here cause they are just a drop in the bucket compared to who is coming in the next few decades.

It is clear that the USA my grandchildren grow up in will either look like S california or it will look like texas. It ain't going to look like Vermont, that much is clear

For the antis on this site that want their grandchildren to grow up in a USA that looks more like the USA of the 1950's, i sympathize with you. I understand you. But get real. That ship has sailed. If you want to live in a country that ethnically resembles the us of the 1950's pls consider moving to Denmark or norway.

For those of us who will stay in the USA, it is clear that our nation will look like either Texas or Southern California.

I am just trying to figure out what makes S cal so dangerous and disfunctional and what makes texas so successful

Dee said...

Teenage pregnancy is not an illegal immigration issue. It is an issue across America and across the world.
Even Gov. Palins daughter is subject to this dilemma.

Dee said...

Plano is a rich suburb but it has teenage problems, drug problems, just like the rest of America, however in McMansions.

Dee said...

I have family in San Bernardino. I dont know that they believe they have huge problems.

I dont think we have huge problems in the DFW area.

There are locations in inner city Dallas that have drug, gang problems more so than other parts of the city. I believe this is more of a poverty issue.

I used to live in KC and Detroit. They have inner city and drug issues too and the primary cause is poverty.

Dee said...

There are some here in cities like Farmers Branch that believe they have issues. I dont think so.

Farmers Branch is a suburb, not as affluent as others but still a nice suburb north of the city.

There are those that believe they have an issue and try to institute laws to outlaw renting to illegal immigrants. They have protests, etc. Yet, there is affluence, malls, shops, restaurants, expensive hotels in that area. They have good schools. Their crime rate is less than inner city.

Anonymous said...

Dee thanks for the heads up -

all in all, i stand by my comment that in my opinion when undocumented move to nice suburbs in S cal their kids and grand kids wind up pathological and when they move to nice suburbs in texas their kids and grandkids dont wind up pathological

i may be wrong and i invite honest comments from antis and pros.

The Arizonian said...

My problem with illegal immigration is parallel to my position on marijuana: it's illegal. It really is that simple.

I have no other problem with either one beyond that point.

It does seem to be more of an inner city/culture issue more than anything else. Am I surprised that anyone living in these poverty prone areas are more likely to be re-arrested than say those living in the suburbs? Of course not. I expect those in the inner city to be arrested more than other parts of the city.

But the question remains: what to do about it?

Anonymous said...

Uhh - In Los Angeles the Mexicans undocumented workers that Dee wants to amnesty are aggressively murdering every black person they can find in their neighborhood. Just google this topic to find many articles.

Dee has never endorsed the murderers, only endorsed amnesty.

see the article here

LOS ANGELES ( - While law enforcement, politicians and community activists spar over whether recent gang-related shootings should be officially classified as race-related and investigated as hate crimes, community and peace activists say tensions between Blacks and Latinos continue to escalate, building anger, distrust and above all, feeding right into the hands of a common enemy of both communities.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported in early March that the majority of this year’s homicides have been Black on Black and Brown on Brown. Blacks, according to the LAPD, made up 13 percent of the suspects in homicides against Latinos and Latinos were 35 percent of the suspects in homicides against Blacks.

During a March 11 press conference announcing the hiring of 500 police officers and expanded recruitment efforts for 500 more, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa indicated gang murders dropped nearly 30 percent last year and the total number of homicides fell to a 38-year low, reaching a level unseen in the city since 1969. Some community activists say LAPD’s most recent crime statistics simply do not add up.

“There’s an inherent contradiction in what Villaraigosa’s saying and to an extent what Chief Bratton is saying. Their own numbers don’t show me that there’s overwhelming evidence that these are just strictly intra-racial killings. About one-third, a significant percentage, of these killings of Blacks are by Latinos and these figures in fact indict them from making statements that there is no racial motivation to it. We need to know why,” said Dr. Earl “Ofari” Hutchinson, an author and radio show host.

He and other community activists are calling on L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley to add a hate crime to charges faced by two Latino suspects charged with shooting six-year-old Lavareay Elzy in Harbor Gateway in March.

Call to arms among Blacks?

Dr. Hutchinson told The Final Call that the push for hate crime charges and investigations are rooted in a proven history of Latino gangs, such as Harbor Gateway’s 204th Street gang, targeting Blacks, like 14-year-old Cheryl Green, fatally shot while she was playing with friends, and the broad daylight shooting of Lavareay Elzy. The shooters could see they were targeting a child and 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw, a football star with no gang affiliation, was also killed.

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