Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Alien Murder-Skittles

So Donald Trump, Jr., in a now-infamous tweet comparing Syrian refugees to the delicious candy Skittles, says three Syrian refugees out of a handful will “kill you.”  Setting aside the racist undertones of the entire idea, that seems a mite high.  So let’s look at some numbers, shall we?

First, I doubt if enough time has passed since we started letting in Syrian refugees in particular (with already “extreme vetting”, I should point out) to accumulate any usable crime statistics.  But regarding immigrants and crime, conservatives are fond of throwing around one number:  121.  That’s the number of number of unauthorized immigrants released from custody pending deportation, who were later charged with murder between 2010 and 2014.  This comes from Department of Homeland Security figures (apparently involving 121 individual homicides).  This equates to roughly 0.00001 of the total estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States. 

Now let’s say a “handful” of skittles equals half of a 2 oz. bag… about 25 skittles.  Three out of 25 = 0.12.

I’m confused.  Is it 0.00001 or 0.12?  Are 12% of immigrants going to kill me, or is it less than 1/10,000th of that?  Help me, Don! 

Of course, this is just immigrants released from custody who were later charged with murder.  I must admit I don’t have data on immigrants who were NOT detained and then released who were later charged with murder.  But I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess this wouldn’t change the numbers by four orders of magnitude. 

So 0.00001 of unauthorized immigrants are ones who have been released from custody and later charged with murder (between 2010 and 2014).  Conservatively assuming they were all guilty, this means that the risk of being murdered by this potential population was about 1 in 100,000.  Now, looking at FBIcrime statistics from 2013, there were 14,249 murders in the U.S. that year.  This equates to 4.5 murders per 100,000 people in the U.S.  

By my admittedly rough calculations, it seems you are 4 to 5 times LESS likely to be murdered by unauthorized immigrant than you already are just by anyone in the total population of the U.S. now (citizen or immigrant).  Maybe we should let MORE immigrants in.  Maybe it could bring down the murder rate!

And maybe alien murder-skittles are really just human beings trying to make a better life.

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