Last Thursday, I wrote about how a combination of Trump Derangement Syndrome and a determination to uphold America’s current mass immigration policies had apparently driven no less than the U.S. Supreme Court to equate committing war crimes with speeding tickets. Two days ago, the Washington Post made appallingly clear that its hard news staff, including its editors, also ranks mass immigration – in this case, illegal immigration – uber alles. Specifically, in an article purporting to show how unreasonable the Trump administration’s deportation policies have been, the paper decided that drunk driving should not be considered a serious crime.
The article’s tone was set by the headline: “ICE data shows half of immigrants arrested in raids had traffic convictions or no record.” And in case you doubt that the piece’s aim was to demonstrate that President Trump’s policies are squandering precious immigration enforcement funds on residents of the country who are clearly no danger to their communities, here’s the lead written by reporters Maria Sacchetti and Ed O’Keefe:
“About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.”
Obviously disgraceful, right? Except the Post account could only get even close to this conclusion by belittling the importance of drunk driving. Here’s how. The article analyzes the backgrounds of immigrants rounded up in early February by agents from regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York, and contends that the records reveal 139 to have been convicted of assault or involvement with “dangerous drugs.” That’s over 20 percent of the total. Only about 26 percent of those rounded up (177 individuals) had no criminal convictions on their record, though 66 of them (more than 37 percent) had charges pending (“largely immigration or traffic offenses).
Sacchetti and O’Keefe went on to write that “The largest single group — 163 [were] immigrants convicted of traffic offenses….” Kind of trifling, right? We all speed or something to that effect now and then. But it turns out that more than 90 percent of these traffic convictions were for drunk driving – which outside the Mainstream Media is surely and rightly viewed as anything but trifling.
In fact, just to remind, during the last full year for which data is available (2015), 10,265 Americans died in “alcohol-impaired crashes” – 300 more than in 2014. And from what we already know, 2016 will see an even higher toll.
So of the 675 immigrant pickups analyzed by the Post, it looks like 139 were convicted for crimes that even the Post evidently considers serious, and at least 147 (90 percent of 163) were drunk drivers. So more than 42 percent had been convicted of crimes that any thinking person would consider serious. And then there were 66 more currently being charged with “traffic offenses” (mainly drunk driving?) or immigration offenses (which could well include such unmistakably serious matters as reentering the United States after being deported or lying on an immigration form).
If only half of the 66 belong in the serious crime category (which seems to be low-balling the issue, based on the other data we have), then more than 47 percent of the pickups looked at by the Post were, by any reasonable standard, menaces to public safety.
But the article’s original claim indicates that this number is actually much higher. After all, Sacchetti and O’Keefe contend that “About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes….”
In other words, a substantial share of the immigrants picked up could have been convicted of crimes perhaps less serious than drunk driving, homicide, assault, or dangerous drug involvement, but still legitimately seen as major offenses. Unfortunately, the piece itself was so poorly written (and edited) that it’s simply not possible to tell. But in a tweet on the article, the Post itself cleared up the mystery, stating that the share of the 675 pickups with no criminal convictions at all was only about 25 percent.
So it’s plain as day that this article’s real message is that the great majority of the individuals being picked up by the Trump administration have taken or endangered American lives, and would remain in positions to do so without federal intervention. The rest, even if they’re simply “undocumented,” have violated the nation’s laws. And that’s a record to condemn?