Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crime vs. Illegal Immigration

In a recent press conference, Chief Gascon said that crime, not immigration status, is the number one priority of his police department. The message is a good one, but the timing? Not so much.

It is true that violent crimes are down and that Mesa hasn't gone this long without a homicide since the 80's. This should be the focus of the Police Department's efforts, and it looks like their focus on the worst of the worst is paying off. Congratulations to the Mesa PD for all of their hard work.

The problem is, just as Sheriff Joe casts a shadow on everything right that the MCSO does, Gascon's personality and his recent faux pax, are threatening to do the same. When you look at this article, what do you take away from it?

Do you notice the great work being done by the Police or do you notice that immigration, once again, is the topic that creates the controversy? Now, is it the topic that sells papers and creates loads and loads of comment pages, yes. Is there a way to constructively discuss the issue? I think so.

For example, what impact has the employer sanctions law had on the illegal immigation population of Mesa? Can you draw a correlation between the decline in illegal immigration and in the decline in crime? Are violent crimes down and petty crimes up because people are broke and there is less to fight about?

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