Obama Had A DREAM

The White House’s explanation of why so many “children” are crossing our southern border recently is that the violence in Central America drove them here. Also, as usual, Bush is to blame: in 2008 President Bush signed a law “to prevent immigration officials from inadvertently sending [children] back to pimps and drug violence”.

On July 5, the Los Angeles Times published an article by Brian Bennett. Using data obtained from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Bennett reported as follows.

“The increase has been dramatic. For most of the last decade, U.S. agents apprehended fewer than 4,000 ‎unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras each year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures.

“‎The total jumped to 10,146 in fiscal year 2012. It doubled to 20,805 last fiscal year. It nearly doubled again, to 39,133, between last October and June 15 this year.”

Below is that same data in graph form. (Since the figure for FY 14 was only through three quarters, I multiplied by 4/3 to get a comparable figure for the full year, assuming the pace of Jul-Sep matches that of Oct-Jun. Note that the chart depicts fiscal years.)

President Obama issued the “DREAM Act” Executive Order in June 2012.

Here is some more data you might find interesting: the murder rates (per 100,000 population), from 2008 to 2012 (most recent data available).

  • El Salvador: from 51.7 to 41.2 (a 20% drop).
  • Guatemala: from 46.1 to 39.9 (a 13% drop).
  • Honduras: from 60.8 to 90.4 (a 49% increase).
  • U.S. (for comparison): 5.4 to 4.7 (a 13% drop).

Unless all those kids are coming from Honduras, the “violence in Central America” excuse looks like a non-starter.

And here are some murder rates (per 100,000) in selected U.S. cities in 2011.

  • Camden, NJ: 60.6.
  • New Orleans: 57.6.
  • Flint, MI: 50.8.
  • Detroit: 48.2.
  • Anniston, AL: 47.4.

I report, you decide. What do you think did it – something Bush did in 2008, something Central America did recently, or something Obama did in 2012 and later?

Randall Hoven can be reached at randallhoven.com or on Twitter.

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