Violent Crime Is Down in Arizona, Up in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s County
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s claims about illegal immigrants and violent crime have been pretty thoroughly debunked, but pro-reform non-profit America’s Voice takes it one step further, circulating a graph today indicating that Arizona’s SB 1070 could actually increase crime in the state. The graph shows rates of violent crime in Arizona jurisdictions from 2002 to 2009. Violent crime rates are all down — statewide numbers included — except for in Maricopa County, the jurisdiction of pro-enforcement Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Crime in Arpaio’s county has gone up 58 percent since 2002, according to America’s Voice data.
As Sam Stein points out at Huffington Post, it’s important not to make too big a leap — the America’s Voice message that SB 1070 could lead to a surge in violent crime statewide seems a step too far. Still, the graph gives some evidence against claims that tougher policies are needed to prevent violent crime by illegal immigrants.