Contributor Post Created with Sketch. We’re Against Emotionalism, Except When We’re Not

 

Conservatives have rightly taken pride in Neil Gorsuch’s calm and cerebral performance at his Senate confirmation hearings. Many commentators, along with Republican senators, have mocked Democrats for presuming to evaluate Gorsuch based on the outcomes of his cases. Did he “side with the little guy” or with big corporations? The correct answer, conservatives have correctly chided, is that justice is supposed to be blind. A good judge makes determinations based upon the facts and the law without regard to whether he personally prefers one party to another and without some social justice agenda to equalize the fortunes of little guys versus big guys. It’s not little versus big, sympathetic versus unsympathetic in a courtroom, but facts and law.

It’s a shame then, that so many conservatives are disregarding the virtues they laud in Gorsuch – prudence, careful weighing of facts, refusal to be swayed by emotional appeals – when it comes to a disturbing story of a rape in Maryland.

Reports indicate that a 14-year-old high school student in Rockville, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC) may have been sodomized and raped in the boys’ bathroom by two suspects. At least one of the suspects, according to Fox 5 in Baltimore, was an 18 year old who had recently entered the country illegally and was enrolled in the school as a freshman. The other, also an immigrant, is 17.

Emotional reactions to heinous crimes are completely understandable, but as Judge Gorsuch has properly reminded us, our feelings are not a good guide to justice. Neither are they a prescription for sensible policy. Quite the opposite.

If the evidence shows that the victim’s account is correct – that she was pushed into the bathroom by the two suspects and raped by both of them in a stall – the young men could be facing many years in prison and deserve to.

But many are rushing to link this inflammatory case – before we know the facts — to the larger cause of immigration restriction. White House spokesman Sean Spicer drew the link: “Part of the reason the president has made illegal immigration such an issue is because of tragedies like this. . .This is why he’s passionate about this. Because people are victims of these crimes. Immigration pays its toll on our people.” That is exploiting people’s anger, which is bad enough, and it’s false, which is worse.

There are good and bad arguments against immigration. I am sympathetic to some restrictionist points, but smearing immigrants as out-of-control criminals is shameful. High rates of immigration, legal and illegal, are not associated with spikes in crime. In our recent history, between 1990 and 2013, the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. more than tripled to 11.2 million. Yet FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined by 48 percent during those years. This included violent crimes like aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Rates of property crime fell by 41 percent, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.

As a survey by the CATO Institute shows, immigrants – both legal and illegal – are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. And when you exclude those illegal immigrants who are jailed for immigration offenses (i.e. just for being here illegally), the numbers really plunge. Looking at the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, CATO notes that illegal immigrants are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. Legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be jailed than natives. White native-born Americans are more likely to be imprisoned than black immigrants, legal or illegal. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley cites a Public Policy Institute study showing that while the foreign-born comprise 35 percent of California’s population, they represent 17 percent of the state prison population.

Some immigrants commit crimes. But as the data show, most keep their noses clean. About seven percent of our population is comprised of non-citizens, yet they account for only 5 percent of the prison population.

We don’t yet know the facts of the rape case in Maryland. But even if they turn out to be every bit as brutal as first reports indicate, the attempt to tar all immigrants with this brush – or to let emotional appeals dictate policy — is exactly what fair-minded admirers of Judge Gorsuch will resist.

There are 150 comments.

  1. Hypatia Inactive

    Oh yeah, gee, what a stretch! Even if these facts turn out to be true, that’s no reason to link the case to illegal immigration.

    Reeeeeeely?

    • #1
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:49 PM PST
    • 21 likes
  2. DocJay Inactive

    Look , a squirrel!

    • #2
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:50 PM PST
    • 20 likes
  3. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Tell that to those who have suffered due to lax enforcement of our immigration laws. It is easy to be dismissive of moral outrage when you’ve never had to deal directly with the underlying cause.

    • #3
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 29 likes
  4. Hammer, The Member

    Agreed.

    But I’d also say a lot of that depends on your location. Overall, illegal immigration is really only a concern because of sovereignty issues. A nation should control it’s borders. I think that conservatives are appealing to emotion and ditching logic (and data) when they say that immigration is an economic issue or a safety issue (except inasmuch as we should be allowed to treat immigrants differently based on their country of origin).

    However, I live in Yakima, WA, which has a huge Mexican population and a disproportionately large illegal immigrant population. If you go down to the county jail and look at the “wanted” sheets, it’s almost all people of Mexican background (either legal or illegal). In our case, this is because there is an extremely large gang presence, here. So, if immigration could prove to be one effective way to curtail gang activity, this city would see a massive drop in crime. That same impact might not be had in other areas, and it may not apply to immigration as a whole, but it is something to consider in certain regions.

    • #4
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:55 PM PST
    • 19 likes
  5. Kozak Member

    shares of illegal alien and prison populations

    Population Illegals (est.) % of
    Population
    % of
    Prison Population
    Nevada 2,700,551 200,000 7.4% 8.5%
    Texas 25,145,561 1,810,000 7.2% 5.5%
    California 37,253,956 2,635,000 7.1% 12.7%
    Arizona 6,392,017 390,000 6.1% 11.7%
    New Mexico 2,059,179 100,000 4.9% 5.4%
    New Jersey 8,791,894 410,000 4.7% 5.5%
    Oregon 3,831,074 170,000 4.4% 8.8%
    Florida 18,801,310 820,000 4.4% 5.1%
    North Carolina 9,535,483 410,000 4.3% 4.8%
    Illinois 12,830,632 550,000 4.3% 5.2%
    • #5
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:58 PM PST
    • 20 likes
  6. Kozak Member

    1 Today, about 55,000 criminal aliens account for more than one-fourth of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities, and there are about 297,000 criminal aliens incarcerated in state and local prisons. That number represents about 16.4 percent of the state and local prison population compared to the 12.9 percent of the total population comprised of foreign-born residents.2

    • #6
    • March 22, 2017, at 3:59 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  7. Hammer, The Member

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Tell that to those who have suffered due to lax enforcement of our immigration laws. It is easy to be dismissive of moral outrage when you’ve never had to deal directly with the underlying cause.

    Mike, that is exactly her point. The same thing is true on the economic front as well as medicare and welfare. Try saying “welfare doesn’t work” to the single mom who relies on WIC to get by. Try saying “unions harm the economy” to the 50 year old lifetime auto mechanic who has greatly benefited from his union. Try saying “forced medication infringes important liberties” to the guy who got stabbed on a public bus by a schizophrenic. That’s the whole point of what Mona is saying. Yes, for virtually every issue, it is easy to point to individual cases. But just because in this specific instance a complete ban on illegal immigration might have prevented this crime, that doesn’t mean that it bolsters the position that illegal immigration is an issue due primarily to crime.

    There are other far more important potential lessons to be drawn from this, which Mona has not disregarded in her post. For instance, policies that dictate how public schools may or may not deal with illegal immigration or age requirements at schools.

    The more important point is that these issues should be discussed on their merits; the left uses poster-cases to create sympathy, and we rightly criticize them for it.

    • #7
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:03 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  8. Hypatia Inactive

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Tell that to those who have suffered due to lax enforcement of our immigration laws. It is easy to be dismissive of moral outrage when you’ve never had to deal directly with the underlying cause.

    Great article in American Thinker today:”Let’s start enrolling Illegal Criminals at Sidwell Friends School”.

    People of normal intelligence and English-speaking ability are 14 when they’re in 9th grade. Like the victim. These 2 goons were 17 & 18. And they obviously weren’t there to learn.

    • #8
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:06 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  9. Hammer, The Member

    Mona Charen:Yet FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined by 48 percent during those years. This included violent crimes like aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Rates of property crime fell by 41 percent, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.

    As a survey by the CATO Institute shows, immigrants – both legal and illegal – are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. And when you exclude those illegal immigrants who are jailed for immigration offenses (i.e. just for being here illegally), the numbers really plunge.

    Mona, I do think that these numbers need to be broken down a bit more. Crime has declined, and if that happened in a vacuum where immigration was the only other factor, that would be important. But if it declined regardless of immigration, that doesn’t say quite as much. I’d be interested to know whether crimes committed by illegal immigrants relative to overall crime rates either increased or declined.

    Also, while it is certainly good to eliminate ICE holds from jail statistics, I think it is a mistake to lump in illegal and legal immigrants. I don’t have numbers to back it up, but it does seem logical that people here illegally would be more likely to commit crimes than those who went through the arduous process of obtaining citizenship.

    • #9
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:07 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  10. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    I had the exact same thought this morning!

    • #10
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:10 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Stad Thatcher

    Mona Charen: A good judge makes determinations based upon the facts and the law without regard to whether he personally prefers one party to another and without some social justice agenda to equalize the fortunes of little guys versus big guys. It’s not little versus big, sympathetic versus unsympathetic in a courtroom, but facts and law.

    This is why we need conservative justices, left or right leaning. By ruling against what society wants based on the existing laws, they point out legal flaws in the laws that were passed.

    Unfortunately, liberal judges have brought us to the edge of anarchy, so recent events involving illegal aliens (call them what they really are) have brought me to the point where I think we should suspend all immigration until we get a handle of what is going on, and how we should deal with it.

    Furthermore, we should drop the H-1B visa program altogether. I’m tired of hearing all this emphasis on STEM education for our children, when it’s cheaper for US businesses (go to hell, Disney et al.) to hire STEM-equivalent people from offshore. Give our STEM children a reason to go into technical fields, jobs they can train for. Sheesh . . .

    • #11
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:10 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  12. DocJay Inactive

    These two concepts flow hand in hand , like Puppet Show and Spinal Tap. Of course the sign should have read Spinal Tap and Puppet Show.

    How a Supreme Court justice is supposed to behave is somehow related to people being emotional about forced sodomy of a minor? [Redacted]

    • #12
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:11 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  13. Kozak Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    These 2 goons were 17 & 18. And they obviously weren’t there to learn.

    Another scam is lots of these illegal “minors” aren’t. They are taken on their word as to their age, that makes it harder to deport them and makes them eligible for a free education and other assistance. Yet another crime they commit.

    • #13
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:20 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  14. Spin Coolidge

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I live in Yakima, WA

    I’m sorry…

    • #14
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:21 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  15. Spin Coolidge

    A fair bit of “proving Mona’s point” going on here…

    • #15
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:23 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. DocJay Inactive

    I’m against lousy illogical conflation. Except when I’m not.

    • #16
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:27 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  17. Hypatia Inactive

    Spin (View Comment):
    A fair bit of “proving Mona’s point” going on here…

    So disagreeing with her is proving her point? Well, if you put it that way, she can’t lose..

    • #17
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  18. Hypatia Inactive

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    These 2 goons were 17 & 18. And they obviously weren’t there to learn.

    Another scam is lots of these illegal “minors” aren’t. They are taken on their word as to their age, that makes it harder to deport them and makes them eligible for a free education and other assistance. Yet another crime they commit.

    Not only that–I read that in Europe, authorities are told to classify anyone who looks under 40 as a “child”.

    If you are 16 or 17 and you’ve been through the initiation into a gang–you are a man, my son.

    • #18
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  19. Doug Watt Member

    There are two types of catch and release. Release near the borders and illegal immigrants are left in the States. There is another type of catch and release, commit a crime and immediate deportation. My personal preference would be that if you earn a prison sentence you serve out the sentence here in the States and then are escorted to the border when the sentence is completed.

    A wall is not going to stop anyone from attempting to cross the border, just as laws against rape have not stopped rape. Build the wall, but people will still make it across. You can deport all illegals, but rapes will still occur.

    • #19
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:39 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Hypatia Inactive

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    There are two types of catch and release. Release near the borders and illegal immigrants are left in the States. There is another type of catch and release, commit a crime and immediate deportation. My personal preference would be that if you earn a prison sentence you serve out the sentence here in the States and then are escorted to the border when the sentence is completed.

    A wall is not going to stop anyone from attempting to cross the border, just as laws against rape have not stopped rape. Build the wall, but people will still make it across. You can deport all illegals, but rapes will still occur.

    Just the fact that not all rapes have to do with illegals is no reason for not trying to eliminate the percentage that do.

    • #20
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:41 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  21. outlaws6688 Inactive

    Must not say anything bad about (illegal) immigrants. Ever. Got it?

    • #21
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  22. DocJay Inactive

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):
    A fair bit of “proving Mona’s point” going on here…

    So disagreeing with her is proving her point? Well, if you put it that way, she can’t lose..

    Her point wasn’t that Gorsuch has the demeanor in a good judge or even that being emotional before facts are in can be bad or even that immigrants can bring good to a society.

    Her point is that Trump supporters are idiots. She makes the point in every article she writes. It drips from her keyboard. Trump is an idiot and those who support him are fools.

    [redacted]

    • #22
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 25 likes
  23. valis Inactive

    When we get the cream of the crop, e.g. India, immigrants are a plus. When we get Third World economic refugees, we get little upside, tremendous downside in an unprotected border.

    • #23
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Hypatia Inactive

    Kozak (View Comment):
    1 Today, about 55,000 criminal aliens account for more than one-fourth of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities, and there are about 297,000 criminal aliens incarcerated in state and local prisons. That number represents about 16.4 percent of the state and local prison population compared to the 12.9 percent of the total population comprised of foreign-born residents.2

    Yuh. And our govt a couple years ago stopped giving us the statistics on what used to be called SCAAP–state criminal alien assistance program . But before they did, we got stats indicating illegal,aliens rape and murder at 10X the rate of citizens. (If you want a link, go to American Thinker and search it–I cant do this stuff on my iPad.)

    Okay so life isn’t as nice in Central and South America as it is here– but this is not the Berlin Wall. Mexico is a neighboring democracy! What kind of people do you think embark on the great adventure of sneaking across the border? Hint: it’s not the peaceful, law-abiding citizens. The fact is , Trump was right on point when he said, “Mexico is not sending us their best.” These are the desperados.

    • #24
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:52 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  25. Doug Watt Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    There are two types of catch and release. Release near the borders and illegal immigrants are left in the States. There is another type of catch and release, commit a crime and immediate deportation. My personal preference would be that if you earn a prison sentence you serve out the sentence here in the States and then are escorted to the border when the sentence is completed.

    A wall is not going to stop anyone from attempting to cross the border, just as laws against rape have not stopped rape. Build the wall, but people will still make it across. You can deport all illegals, but rapes will still occur.

    Just the fact that not all rapes have to do with illegals is no reason for not trying to eliminate the percentage that do.

    I think the point I’m making is that you make someone serve out their sentence then deport. The wall will merely be an inconvenience to hardened criminals. If someone has done something so egregious that it merits a lengthy prison sentence you don’t reward them with R&R in their own country, and then have them back in the States two weeks later.

    • #25
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:54 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Hypatia Inactive

    DocJay (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):
    A fair bit of “proving Mona’s point” going on here…

    So disagreeing with her is proving her point? Well, if you put it that way, she can’t lose..

    Her point wasn’t that Gorsuch has the demeanor in a good judge or even that being emotional before facts are in can be bad or even that immigrants can bring good to a society.

    Her point is that Trump supporters are idiots. She makes the point in every article she writes. It drips from her keyboard. Trump is an idiot and those who support him are fools.

    [redacted].

    A fellow idiot and fool thanks you!

    • #26
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  27. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I believe Mona misses the point here. The issue is not whether these specific defendants are entitled to the cool, rational approach of the judicial system. Of course they are. Nor is it the relative crime rates of illegal v legal immigrants or illegal v US citizens. It is that crimes by illegals are (1) additive to the crime rate by those legally here and (2) committed by those who should not be in this country in the first place. I don’t care if the crime rate for legals is ten times higher; why would I want any illegals here to add to that? Whether the causes of them being here are catch and release, sanctuary cities, problems with the inability of schools to handle young illegals, it is perfectly fair to use these examples to drive home the real costs of laxness.

    • #27
    • March 22, 2017, at 4:57 PM PST
    • 21 likes
  28. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    DocJay (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):
    A fair bit of “proving Mona’s point” going on here…

    So disagreeing with her is proving her point? Well, if you put it that way, she can’t lose..

    Her point wasn’t that Gorsuch has the demeanor in a good judge or even that being emotional before facts are in can be bad or even that immigrants can bring good to a society.

    Her point is that Trump supporters are idiots. She makes the point in every article she writes. It drips from her keyboard. Trump is an idiot and those who support him are fools.

    [redacted]

    Can you point me to where in this piece she said anything remotely like that? Or even implied it?

    • #28
    • March 22, 2017, at 5:03 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Scott Wilmot Member

    Mona Charen: We don’t yet know the facts of the rape case in Maryland. But even if they turn out to be every bit as brutal as first reports indicate, the attempt to tar all immigrants with this brush – or to let emotional appeals dictate policy — is exactly what fair-minded admirers of Judge Gorsuch will resist.

    And yet the liberals want to tar all immigrants with the Dreamer brush – that they are the studious children who become the valedictorians.

    What’s the middle ground?

    If we don’t fight them Mona, we will be defeated. Just listen to that hack Chuck Schumer and his sycophants. They fight, even though they are wrong and clueless.

    I’m sick of the liberals hammering us and then reading silly articles like yours.

    • #29
    • March 22, 2017, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  30. DocJay Inactive

    My insults are far far less insulting than the flawed lecturing pseudo logic of the OP. Redact away you brave brave souls.

    • #30
    • March 22, 2017, at 5:10 PM PST
    • 16 likes

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