June 2, 2007

NY Times’ ‘Manufacturing Recession’ Reporter Cites Shaky Info On Illegal-Immigrant Criminality

On February 28 (second item at link), New York Times business reporter David Leonhardt infamously wrote the following:

For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived

The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.

To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only one to “notice” a recession in manufacturing — because it doesn’t exist. In fact, the latest related report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth straight month. That would include February, when Leonhardt made his “recession” call. The ISM reading of 55.0 (any reading over 50 indicates expansion) actually inched up a bit from the previous month’s 54.7.

Though it’s not possible to tell for sure because of the TimeSelect subscription wall, a Times search on “manufacturing recession” (not in quotes) shows no apparent retraction of Leonhardt’s call, but does include plenty of references to other reasons why a recession might be possible.

Leonhardt’s “less than perfect” reporting has apparently continued. In the course of (mostly correctly) calling out Lou Dobbs (requires free registration) over Dobbs’ exaggerations concerning the incidence of leprosy in the US, he attempts to minimize the impact of illegal immigrants on America’s crime problem. Leonhardt pointed to Department of Justice and Census data showing that “6.4 percent of the nation’s prisoners were noncitizens in 2005,” and that “6.9 percent of the total United States population were noncitizens in 2003.”

He then appeared to take it a step too far, concluding that:

For a variety of reasons, the crime rate is actually lower among immigrants than natives.

As to the percentages cited, this GAO report (“Information on Criminal Aliens Incarcerated in Federal and State Prisons and Local Jails,” issued May 9, 2005) begs to disagree:

At the federal level, the number of criminal aliens incarcerated increased from about 42,000 at the end of calendar year 2001 to about 49,000 at the end of calendar year 2004–a 15 percent increase. The percentage of all federal prisoners who are criminal aliens has remained the same over the last 3 years–about 27 percent.

Translation: If the current estimate of 12 million illegals in the US is accurate (and if “criminal alien” is a subset of only “illegal aliens”), that would represent 4% of the country’s population, and would mean that illegals are over nine times MORE likely (49,000 [27% of federal prisoners] divided by 12 million, compared to 133,000 citizen prisoners [the other 73%] divided by 300 million) to be in federal prison than the rest of the population.

Now it’s quite possible that there is a definitional difference between Leonhardt’s “noncitizens” and GAO’s “criminal aliens.” But this excerpt from a different GAO report (“Information on Certain Illegal Aliens Arrested in the United States”) would seem to indicate that whatever you want to call them and however many of them there are, they seem to engage in crime more frequently, and more violently. If that is indeed the case, the collective crime rate of illegals could be higher than that of the rest of the population, even if their criminal element is slightly smaller as a percentage of their population.

GAO studied the criminal records of over 55,000 incarcerated illegal immigrants, and found that:

….. they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990. They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses. About 45 percent of all offenses were drug or immigration offenses. About 15 percent were property-related offenses such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and property damage. About 12 percent were for violent offenses such as murder, robbery, assault, and sex-related crimes. The balance was for such other offenses as traffic violations, including driving under the influence; fraud–including forgery and counterfeiting; weapons violations; and obstruction of justice.

That’s quite a collective rap sheet spread over a pretty large sample of illegal-alien prisoners, and though not documented, would appear to be more serious than the criminal records you might find with the remaining prison population. That also doesn’t consider the very real possibility that GAO missed many arrests because of the rampant and flagrant use of multiple identities and aliases by criminal illegals.

At best, Leonhardt should not have treated the GAO reports as if they don’t exist. At worst, he’s dead wrong. But why would you expect him to dig into various report discrepancies when it appears that he won’t even own up to his bogus “manufacturing recession” call?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Why Is Nobody Looking at the Impact of Illegals on African-American and Teen Unemployment?

These three charts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should be cause for concern.

They show the unemployment rates for Blacks (African-Americans), all teens, and African-American teens during the past 10 years:


The red boxes in each chart indicate the low point for each category during the last 10 years, all of which occurred in the second quarter of 2000.

Each low unemployment-rate point achieved at that time, when the overall unemployment rate reached its low point of 3.8%, was much lower than it is currently. Specifically:

  • The Black/African American unemployment rate is 1.5% point higher (8.5% currently, 7.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-Americans who are unemployed is still 21% higher (8.5/7.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.
  • The teen unemployment rate is 3.4% point higher (15.7% currently, 12.3% in June 2000). The percentage of teens who are unemployed is still 28% higher (15.7/12.3) than it was at its low point in 2000.
  • The Black/African American teen unemployment rate is 10.4% point higher (30.4% currently, 20.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-American teens who are unemployed is still 52% higher (30.4/20.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.

If the 2007 unemployment rates in the these categories were the same as they were in 2000, the overall unemployment rate would be about 0.3% lower, and much closer to its 2000 low.

But why are the three unemployment rates just cited so much higher? What is present in 2007 that wasn’t present in 2000?

How about perhaps 3.5 million or more (using a conservative estimate of 500,000 per year) additional low-skilled illegal workers who have entered the country since then, taking jobs away from relatively lower-skilled African-Americans and definitely lower-skilled teens — jobs that African-Americans and teens could have and would have done?

Where are African-American politicians, and where is the self-described civil rights community, on this? As far as I can tell, totally AWOL. American Thinker letter writer James Bailey concurs:

Where are the African American Protests? Where are the outraged Black Leaders? Where is the Congressional Black Caucus?

Now that Democrats have gained power, look at how they treat their loyal constituents. First, they passed their “Keep labor so expensive that Inner City Youths will never get a job” law, I think they deceptively labeled it raising the minimum wage. And now, the Democrats are moving on to their “Give all those jobs to Foreigners” law. This doozy is called “Immigration Reform”.

Democrats are condemning those who are still trapped in the ghetto to never get a chance to get out. Doomed to perpetual reliance on Democrats for hand-outs. Yet there is not a single peep of protest.

Meanwhile, Hispanic Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson opposes the immigration bill because he’s “against the fence.” ANY fence?

Additionally, why isn’t Old Media harping on the African-American unemployment disparities, as it did throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: A Beautiful Mind

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:59 am

From Baltimore County, Maryland (HT DailyGood E-mail):

Originally published May 23, 2007

A beautiful mind

Andrew Engel didn’t let a brain tumor stop him: After 12 years, he picks up his college degree tomorrow


Andrew Engel has spent nearly 12 years in college, working gradually, steadily for the chance to utter that word. The moment came last week, when the University of Maryland, Baltimore County senior completed his final course requirements for a degree.
Graduation, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 1st Mariner Arena, was still a week away, yet as Engel walked across the campus of emerald grass and boxy buildings, he allowed the joy of accomplishment to consume him. That way, the moment would be permanently etched in his long-term memory, instead of becoming a feeling he knew he had experienced but could not recall.

A malignant brain tumor, discovered shortly after he began his freshman year at Rutgers University in 1995, robbed Engel of much of his short-term memory. His drive and intelligence, however, remained undiminished. That is why Engel, who lives in Ellicott City, is not only a degree candidate but an inspiration to many who have witnessed his odyssey.

“He was determined, very determined that he was going to do this,” said Joyce L. Riley, associate director of UMBC’s Health Administration and Policy Program and Engel’s academic adviser.

A team of doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital that included Dr. Benjamin Carson removed the tumor in November 1995, but the damage it caused was so extensive that the doctors warned that Engel would likely never excel in a college setting.

Engel refused to accept that limitation. He asked his doctors to help him devise a new way to retrieve information from a brain that had become unable to retain significant amounts of it for more than a few minutes. They tailored a program that helped him prod information from his short-term memory reserves into long-term memory.

Go here for the rest of the story.