Radley Balko provides some good evidence toward debunking the myth that immigrant communities bring violent crime, but while these communities are safe, a report on identity theft makes a convincing case that there are serious costs unfairly imposed on the citizens whose identities are stolen to employ those communities (beyond the more distributed costs of social services).
If our society is to be permissive about the use of false documentation, what does one say to a person finding themselves on the hook for loans they didn’t borrow, wanted for crimes they didn’t commit, liable for taxes on income they didn’t receive, or being denied safety net benefits because of someone else’s actions? Also our desire to allow good-natured illegal immigrants to live quietly on false identities means criminals can as well.
The report claims that organizations like the IRS, SSA and credit bureaus knowingly maintain policies that ease ID theft, and certainly the private sector enjoys handling the money of (and preying on vulnerabilities of) the falsely documented, so it seems there are some nasty incentives at play.
I’m still very much torn on many issues, but the situation doesn’t seem sustainable and has an ugly effect on some Americans’ view of Hispanics. Certainly criminalizing a huge percentage of the population and economy isn’t a reasonable solution, and the idea of mass deportation is ludicrous (and would likely be an even bigger civil liberties disaster than we already have), but there must be practical and humane means to provide decentives to future border crossings and visa over-stays.
There’s a sane middle between the libertarian ideal of free borders and the ugly rhetoric coming out of the cultural warriors.