Crime and Migration Patterns are Bigger than Parties and Candidates


            Pearl River      Crime is an issue in all of the neighborhoods where we organize. ACORN members almost invariably want more police, higher police visibility, street patrols, and police who are connected to the community and accessible.  They don’t want police brutality, harassment, and civilian killings and casualties, but they want security.  That’s just the facts, but none of this means that they are going to vote for Trump or other conservative politicians who are beating the drum about crime in our cities and states, claiming that it comes from feeble policies promoted by progressive politicians.

Similar feelings characterize our members’ feelings about migrant workers and immigrant families.  Sure, some of them are haters and go all NIMBY. It’s not a perfect world and our members are not perfect people, but for the most part, the majority are sympathetic to people trying to work hard, raise their families, and better their lives, since that is also how most of them see themselves.   There must be some polling somewhere that tells these wingers that this approach works, but scaring people about others and outsiders doesn’t build community or the country.  Worse, a lot of the claims aren’t even true.

An interesting piece recently cited a Trump screed arguing that blue states and Democratic mayors had worse crime and criminals compared to the reds.  On one level, it’s just more complicated than that.  On another level, looking city to city, even in Florida, the crime rate in Miami and Jacksonville with Republican mayors is on par with blue cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Despite Florida’s Ron DeSantis’ claims, the Florida crime rate is worse than a bunch of blue states as well.  If they are trying to hold onto a base or stoke up some folks in the rural by promoting fear, so be it, but in reality, they’re trying to fill a bucket with so many holes, it won’t hold water.

What’s true for the cities may be even truer for the states.  It’s hard to get redder than the Southern states. When it comes to murder rates, where reliable stats are kept, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, and many of the rest are always in the lead, whether the governor is red or blue for a minute.  We have guns galore, and too often, the tempers to go with them, ballot box be damned.

Borderlands are always going to be hotspots when there are waves of migration from other countries.  This is true globally, no matter the governmental politics.  Germany may welcome them, and Italy may not, but countries on the receiving end of migration, like the United States, don’t create the problem, they just react to the global conditions that put people at their doors.  Nothing will stop people from moving and trying to find a better life either by choice or necessity, even if the numbers ebb and flow.  If we’re lucky to be born and live in a prosperous country, it’s not a secret we can keep; it’s a condition we have to accept, either with grace or steel.  People will keep coming, regardless of who is Republican or conservative as the governor or president.

The politics of misinformation, fear, and deceit won’t get any of us to a solution.  The few votes they might win aren’t worth it.  That’s not to say on either of these issues that there’s nothing we can do, but it does argue we ought to try to do the right things, not just talk smack.