What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

I offer this Reddit discussion about the FOX News article Honduran man charged with raping, killing jogger in New Jersey had been deported twice as an example of how hard it is to discuss politics. I am posting as PhilAndMaude.


Person-A:
A-fucking-nother one. How many illegals have killed American citizens this year. We should compare it to mass shootings and see who has killed more.


PhilAndMaude:

The homicide conviction rate for native-born Americans was 3.1 per 100,000, 2.6 per 100,000 for illegal immigrants, and 1 per 100,000 for legal immigrants. Cato Institute

undocumented immigrants make up roughly 3% of the population

So 322 million x 3% x 2.6/100,000 = 251 convictions.

Mass shooting deaths this year: 109 in 91 days (source) would be 437 per year.


Person-B:
Cato pushes open borders and deliberately biases their numbers to that end. Many illegal alien murderers hop the border before they can be captured.

The real number of murders by illegal aliens in the US is 4000-5000 per year, according to the GAO.


PhilAndMaude:
I try to cite sources that are acceptable to conservatives. The Cato Institute is “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace,” so I figured it would count. How do they deliberately bias their numbers?

Thank you for the GAO link. It is a rather lengthy paper focused more on arrest and costs than convictions. I could not find accurate numbers on homicides, possibly because they are to be inferred from multiple tables. It is also a little dated (2009).

According to Trump, there were 539 murders by illegal immigrants over 7 years in Texas. Scaling appropriately, that’s 877 murders/year.


Person-B:

I could not find accurate numbers on homicides, possibly because they are to be inferred from multiple tables.

Table 2 on Page 21. 25,064 homicides from 2005-2009.

Not that it actually matters – 1 is too many.


PhilAndMaude:
Yes, I saw that table. It’s arrests, not convictions. The report also says “we estimate that our study population of about 249,000 criminal aliens were arrested about 1.7 million times, averaging about 7 arrests per criminal alien” p.17, which is why I could not get accurate figures.

The conviction rate seems be between 70% and 90%.

Dividing your 25,064 figure by 5 years, 7 arrests and 80% conviction rate gives 573, roughly in line with other calculations.

Another way to calculate it is to say 19,000 homicides/year * fraction of illegal immigrants (10.7 / 327 million) gives 622/year.

Lastly, of course I agree that one is too many.


Person-B:

Yes, I saw that table. It’s arrests, not convictions.

The people in the study population were people who were in prison, so it is reasonable to assume they were convicted.

…or are you really under the impression that there is an 80% false accusation rate for illegal alien murderers.


PhilAndMaude:
So far in this thread, I’ve offered 4 different ways to estimate annual homicides by illegals: 251, 877, 622, 353, and my reading of the GAO paper is 573.

Instead of sticking to the numbers in Table 2: Estimated Number and Percent of Criminal Alien Arrest Offenses by Type of Offense, perhaps you could explain why you think my other 4 estimates are wrong.

By the way, is it you who is downvoting all my posts?


Person-B:

perhaps you could explain why you think my other 4 estimates are wrong.

I’ll just look at the most recent one, since it deals with the numbers I have been discussing.

Dividing your 25,064 figure by 5 years, 7 arrests and 80% conviction rate gives 573, roughly in line with other calculations.

You’re dividing the number of homicide arrests over 5 years, by 7 arrests per illegal alien per year, and then multiplying that by 80%. So your calculations assume that each illegal alien arrested for murder, either is convicted of 5 murders per year, or is arrested 7 times for the same murder.

By the way, is it you who is downvoting all my posts?

No, I almost never downvote.

All that said, lets get away from that one GAO report, and look at some other sources.

Americans Are Right to Worry about Illegal Aliens and Crime

Crimes by illegal aliens, not legal immigrants, are the real problem

Illegal Immigrants Commit Crimes at Twice the Rate of Other Residents

Illegal Aliens Murder at a Much Higher Rate Than US Citizens Do

The truth about crime, illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities

Thousands of avoidable crimes committed by foreign nationals in Texas alone

Yes, NPR: Illegal Immigration Does Increase Violent Crime


PhilAndMaude:
Yes, they are scary articles, but when I calculate the numbers, they are in line with my current estimates. Link 3 has 4,000 AZ convictions over 32 years of which undoc. immigrants were 13%, so that’s 32 / 4000 x 13% = 16/year. Scale that by the AZ population to National levels (327 / 7.17) to get 741 per year, within my ballpark.

The American Thinker article also reads the GAO report wrongly: “The GAO estimates “criminal aliens” were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides,” but as I’ve pointed out, Table 2 is an arrest table, not “arrested, convicted and incarcerated.”

I didn’t do estimates from the other links. If you’re too lazy to do the calculations, so am I.

Let me describe where I’m coming from. I’m fascinated by the elements of confirmation bias, ignoring facts that don’t match our ideology (“When the facts don’t fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored” Lakoff), and holding the beliefs of our group even when they are wrong so that we fit in (James Clear). These could apply to you or to me.

So thank you for taking part in this discussion. Maybe you’re wrong, maybe I’m wrong; I’m intrigued by how we can disagree over what should be an easily quantifiable fact.


Person-B:

but as I’ve pointed out, Table 2 is an arrest table, not “arrested, convicted and incarcerated.”

…and as I’ve pointed out, the group being studied were in prison, and they were in prison because they’d been convicted and incarcerated.

I’m intrigued by how we can disagree over what should be an easily quantifiable fact.

It would probably help if a bunch of states didn’t go to enormous lengths to hide the relevant data. What are they trying to hide?


PhilAndMaude:
I’ve realized why we’re not making progress in this conversation: we’re speaking different languages.

I’m using the analytical language of numbers to assess the size of the problem compared to mass shootings. You, in contrast, are speaking the language of fear. You don’t challenge my numbers; indeed, you haven’t done any arithmetic in this thread. Instead, your argument is a list of scary articles about criminals invading the country.

So let me try and speak your language. You’re probably going to come back and deny the fear and say no, you’re angry at the loss of life and the injustice. Yes, I get that. But behind that anger is a fear of strangers because they’re unknown, untrusted and possibly dangerous. It’s hard to see because it’s scary, and who wants to look at scary things?

When we aren’t fully aware of our emotions, they control us. They also generate disproportionate all-or-nothing reactions. It’s important to understand what drives us, because only then can we allow for it. So I want to address your (probably hidden to you) belief that strangers are dangerous and not to be trusted. Yes, some are, but the vast majority are people with hopes and dreams just like you, and not a threat. I calculate my lifetime odds of being killed by an illegal immigrant are about the same as drawing three aces from a shuffled deck. They are no more a threat than the people you know (and some of those are not to be trusted, amiright?) So that’s my attempt to speak your language. Your turn.


Person-B:

I’m using the analytical language of numbers to assess the size of the problem compared to mass shootings. You, in contrast, are speaking the language of fear.

LOL – No. We’re not making progress because you can’t accept that illegal aliens murder, rape, and commit other serious crimes at levels that dwarf the problems you want addressed, because you don’t want the flow of illegals stopped or legitimate arguments to be floated as to why it should be.

I do understand why the left defaults to the <insert thing / person / ideology here>-phobia argument. Its a combination of it being an easy way to shut down the opposing side without having to actually address the issue, and people thinking of others in terms of themselves.

All the left’s arguments are based on emotion, so they default to thinking everyone else’s are too.


PhilAndMaude:

the problems you want addressed

Where in my posts do I mention these?

you don’t want the flow of illegals stopped

Where did I say this?

All the left’s arguments are based on emotion

Everyone’s arguments are based on emotions. The left expresses empathy, hence “feels before reals”, but the right also has emotions. Tell me, how do you feel about OP’s foxnews article or any of the links you posted?


Person-C:
Allow me to say this:

Where in my posts do I mention these?

Where did I say this?

You are objecting to the other user making assumptions about you after just making several posts that made assumptions about the other user.

The other user employed your strategy and now you don’t want it done.


Person-C:

I’m using the analytical language of numbers to assess the size of the problem compared to mass shootings. You, in contrast, are speaking the language of fear.

“Oh, now I understand why we disagree! I’m using le facts and you are using le fear!”

Don’t argue like that. That isn’t a good faith conversation.

So I want to address your (probably hidden to you) belief that strangers are dangerous and not to be trusted.

This works on r/politics. This doesn’t work here. You are literally declaring yourself smarter, assuming that the other poster has unreasonable fear and and being absurdly condescending.


PhilAndMaude:
OK, interesting points in this and your other post. I’ll answer them both here. Let me summarize how we got here.

  • Person-A asked “How many illegals have killed American citizens this year. We should compare it to mass shootings and see who has killed more.”
  • I offered 4 different estimates and Person-B offered 1 that is about 10x as big.
  • I have described why I think Person-B‘s #s are off, but he has not done the same for any of my 4 estimates.
  • Instead, he offered 7 (what I regard as) fear-laden articles.
  • When a discussion about facts makes no progress, I become curious as to why. Hence the posts about confirmation bias, etc. and my fear theory. (For which there is a lot of evidence; Google “conservatives and fear” or “liberals and fear”.)

I don’t see this as a breach of a good faith conversation so much as an effort to dig deeper to find what lies behind differing liberal and conservative positions. You may be right that hypotheses about the other side, however well intended, are not taken kindly. How would you suggest that this could be explored? (Seriously. I’m not trying to be snarky.)


Person-B:

I have described why I think RedB’s #s are off, but he has not done the same for any of my 4 estimates.

On the contrary – I pointed out that the estimate you made based on the GAO report was faulty, and why.

You describe the other articles as “fear laden” because they use alternate methods to come to the same conclusions as the GAO report, and you can’t refute that other than by using obviously faulty calculations.

At the point at which you started ascribing emotional motivations to me as the reason I refuse to accede to your faulty math, I disengaged.


Person-C:

but he has not done the same for any of my 4 estimates.

Yes. He has. You seem to have ignored it.

Instead, he offered 7 (what I regard as) fear-laden articles.

You probably think this news story that I posted is fear-laden, too.

Hence the posts about confirmation bias, etc. and my fear theory. (For which there is a lot of evidence; Google “conservatives and fear” or “liberals and fear”.)

You want me to google the fact that a lot of liberal writers have authored things about how “conservatives are motivated by fear?”

I’ve already read that.

Thing is, fear is healthy. Paying attention to what is dangerous is how species survive.


PhilAndMaude:

Yes. He has. You seem to have ignored it.

I quoted the Cato InstituteTrumpTX Dept of Public Safety and scaled annual homicides by fraction of illegal immigrants. I don’t see any argument from him of why my calculations are wrong or why they are off his GAO claim by a factor of TEN.

As for fear, you’re offering two messages: using le fear is an ad hominem attack, and fear is healthy.

Fear used to be an essential response. Is it a stick or a snake on the path? Safer to be afraid and wrong than be bold and bitten. Nowadays, a conservative (small c) response is a handicap because we have brains that can better assess a situation than our emotions can, de Becker notwithstanding.

I think other attributes have made much greater contributions to the survival of humans.


Person-C:

I think other attributes have made much greater contributions to the survival of humans.

We have twelve years to stop global warming before we all die!

Tagged with: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*