Argument that Violence Driving Surge in Illegal Immigration Unconvincing

According to internal memos and news reports, the main driver of illegal immigration continues to be economic motivations.  The recent surge in illegal immigration, including the increase in illegal alien minors, by the admissions of the aliens themselves, is the result of Obama Administration policies, and the continuing promises of amnesty from leaders of both parties in Congress, which has been noted by media outlets in Central America.

Increased violence, notably a rise in homicides in the sending countries, has been touted as the cause of the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens across the U.S. southern border.  However, data from the United Nations shows that homicide rates in El Salvador and Guatemala are at a much lower level than in past years, and the homicide rate in Honduras is beginning to abate after a sharp rise that took place between 2006 and 2011. If murderous violence were the primary motivating factor spurring illegal immigration from these countries, the influx would have occurred much earlier. In contrast, Mexico, which has seen a sharp rise in its homicide rate in recent years, has sent many fewer illegal immigrants into the U.S. since 2009.


Aprehensions of Unaccompanied Alien Minors in U.S.

The United Nations data do not go beyond 2012, but there are no indications that that the conditions in Central American have changed to such an extent to account for the massive surge in illegal border crossers. In fact, a brief prepared by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), created by the federal government to focus on U.S.-Mexico border issues, found that “violence is not likely the principal factor driving the increase in UAC migration.” Relying on information from the U.S. Border Patrol, EPIC stated that:

Of the 230 total migrants interviewed, 219 [95%] cited the primary reason for migrating to
the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisosa
to UAC and adult female OTMs [Other Than Mexican] traveling with minors.

EPIC also found that:

…a large number of migrants interviewed claimed family members in the United States encouraged
their travel because the U.S. government would cease issuing permisos after June 2014. Migrants
cited Univision, Primer Impacto, Al Rojo Vivo and several Honduran television news outlets for
helping shape their perception of U.S. immigration policy.

Honduras, which by far has the highest murder rate among Central American countries, as well as the highest in the world, has seen its murder rate decrease prior to the surge of illegal aliens from that country into the United States. Official statistics from the Honduran government, which records homicides up until June 2014, reveal that the murder rate in Honduras has dropped, yet apprehensions recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol of illegal alien minors from Honduras have greatly increased.

Data from July 2014 to Dec 2014 projected based on Jan 2014 to Jun 2014 statistics.

As FAIR pointed out last week, most of the information about the illegal aliens comes from the aliens themselves. What we do know is that many who are coming are not children, are not unaccompanied, are not trafficked, and are not coming because they are fleeing a sudden increase in violence in their home countries.*

* In testimony to the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee,  none of the three witnesses who claimed that violence was driving the surge in illegal immigration could point to a single precipitating violent event in Central America that could explain the sudden spike in number of illegal aliens from that region.

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  1. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    Things couldn’t be too bad in Central American its always being advertised for tourism. I haven’t seen anything from the state department warning about gangs or wars going on in any of them. Obama wanted to change the country using immigration reform It looks more like he has exposed himself for just what a self centered jerk he is. Obama and Holder my what a pair.

    • avatar
      Chance Meagre on

      You really that you believe that advertisement for tourism= safe place to go? Has your church group touted a Holy Land trip in the last ten years? I bet that is safe place to go. Barnum was correct.

      • avatar
        Lawrence Goodwin on

        Lawrence Goodwin Do you have a point Meagre, or is your comment merely more liberal name-calling and aspersion casting? Barbara DOES have a point, you see.
        If you read the article, which I now doubt, you would see that not only was Barnum correct, so was Barbara.
        This is all the progressives have, while inefficient government wastes billions, even trillions in American wealth, and conservatives try to deny not help to real people, but more money for government employees to waste.
        Ask a Veteran who’s been denied medical care while VA management grade themselves as “bonus worthy” to the tune of $3.9 million in Phoenix alone as untreated Vets are deviously hidden away to die.
        Only the deaf, dumb, and blind could believe that is an exception in government. Barnum is right again!
        Get government in order. THEN fund America’s needs. When waste is found, salaries must go down.
        Did you know the AVERAGE federal employee pulls down just short of $80,000, while the average WORKING American earns $50,000? Benefits and retirement for those federal employees total 4 times that of civilian workers.
        Yeah, I know. The answer is to make the minimum wage $80,000. Right!

  2. avatar

    I’m poor and out of work . In my town , the mayor is crowing about how our Hispanic population has increased 113% since 2000 . ” We were losing people !” . We were , mayor , because the jobs went . Closing school’s and firing teachers and cops and firemen , but , she still broke ground on a Hispanic welcoming center a few months ago . I might add that I live more than 2000 miles from the border . These communities think it’s good for the local economy to have the income from the SNAP and EBT program coming in . Like the goverment is this endless well of money . When you have such a disparity between the taxpayers and all of the dependents , the Fed will run out of money and we will have chaos .

  3. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    There’s more violence in Chicago than Central America.

    Here’s another debunked argument: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson argued again about the tech “labor shortage” in their July 10th New York Times op-ed piece when they wrote: “But for those who wish to stay and work in computer science or technology, fields badly in need of their services, let’s roll out the welcome mat.”

    Microsoft announced 18,000 job cuts today in the face of this severe tech “labor shortage.”

    • avatar

      Grim Tech Future in America

      Its sad Concerned Citizen that apocolypse video games and hand phones are the next MSFT legacy…I heard a couple of laid off NASA Rocket Scientists are now making dinosaur cartoon video games….

      Meanwhile they’ll butcher axe jobs at MSFT and scream for cheap replacements from Neptune….anywhere except the United States. Its now cool to outsource our automotive engineers to Japan and Europe for significantly higher wages there too.

      Then lie there’s a tech shortage in America.

      • avatar
        Concerned Citizen on

        Software, this might make you feel better. Last year, I fired a payroll vendor and hired one that employs Americans who answer the phone on the 2nd or 3rd ring and quickly solve problems. The previous service was dysfunctional — lousy software and bad customer service.

        • avatar

          I Had an Experience With the Social Security Agency Application Acceptance, as I Represent a Non-verbal Family Member

          The government agency’s phone manager was apparently recently “from Neptune” and pronounced “physician” “Phissisian”; there were a plethora of other totally mispronouncing English words too; made the phone interview almost impossible. She even blamed me and threatened to fail the interview because of her short-comings….

          Why did the SSA put in a phone manager who couldn’t speak English clearly I have no idea. I’d fire ’em too, like you did.

    • avatar
      arnlof sweigeir ft on

      These layoffs have nothing to do w immigration……. Microsoft bought Nokia mobile sector…. And as it is always the case…..they do not need the working body for that they e of business……

        • avatar
          John Winthrop on

          It is simple SWE…you and I know very well…….either they laid off these guys or simply everybody…….the management screwed up just like Motorola and now they have a dead body of engineers collecting every two weeks a pay check….without any profits……………………………………………….that is what happens when icon companies become inept due to its internal culture……………………….

    • avatar
      Chance Meagre on

      Concerned Citizen: Is there really more violence in Chicago? Please, cite your statistics, link to your source. I suggest you review the information at and compare your information to that. According to the 2012 murder rate for Chicago was 18.5 per 100,000. In Honduras the rate in 2012 was 90.4 per 100,000. “Do you wish to revise your ******** statement?” to quote Tommy Lee Jones’s character in “The Fugitive”. Both figures are unacceptable but to claim equivalency or that 18.5 is greater than 90.4 is dishonest or demonstrates a basic failure to grasp a key arithmetic concept of greater or lesser.

      • avatar
        Lawrence Goodwin on

        Just wondering if the president would like to revise his ******** statement(s) demonstrating dishonesty, and his failure to grasp key arithmetic concepts.
        You have asked him, haven’t you Michelle?

    • avatar

      “There’s more violence in Chicago than Central America”

      You would think that if you watched the news, I think you’re confusing headlines with actual violence levels.

      700 homicides doesn’t equal 45,000.

  4. avatar
    John Winthrop on

    Chicago had 82 people shot 14 deaths deaths in a weekend and …guess what?…they were all our own…no illegals……keep on deceiving The People about the illegals,,,,,

    • avatar
      Concerned Citizen on

      Winthrop, you’re missing the point…again. We’re discussing asylum for kids in a country that has Chicago levels of violence, therefore the asylum case rings hollow. Guatemala should be giving many Chicago residents asylum in their country.

      • avatar
        Chance Meagre on

        Again I say – nonsense! They pray to have Chicago levels of violence. 18.5 is less than 90.4. The murder rate in Chicago is 18.5/100,000. The murder rate in Honduras is 90.4/100,000. They pray NOVENAS to have a Chicago like rate of violence and when God remains silent they do what they can to protect their child from the 10% chance of being a murder victim – they send them North to Chicago. That is how their prayer is answered. Who are we to get in the middle of divine intervention?

        • avatar

          I don’t know why that guy is bringing Chicago up of all places to compare the likes of Honduras with but “Chance”, Chicago’s murder rate is around 7 per 100,000.

          Many ‘cities’ (especially those of the U.S.) are based on arbitrary political lines that only take in a portion of their ‘urban area’ i.e. their ‘city’ in the true sense of the word. The official Chicago urban area is 8.6 million strong and is spread across 2,443 square miles. The ‘City of Chicago’ municipality has 2.7 million folks and is spread across 234 square miles. If that’s not a discrepancy I don’t know what is. Cities should correspond with their urban area, that’s what cities are. A city logically can’t be smaller than it’s urban space, never mind below 1/10 of it. This is why the FBI uses Metropolitan areas instead of ‘cities’.

          So it is actually even lower than 18.5.

  5. avatar

    California is about to impose large fines on misuse of water because of the severity of the drought they are in now. But that won’t stop their two senators and most of their House delegation from beating the drum for their so called “reform” that will essentially double our already high immigration rates, adding even more people to a state that doesn’t need them and can’t provide water for the present population. But it does get votes, so that’s the only important thing for California politicians, not the state they will leave their children and grandchildren. Any future droughts only become that much harder to deal with.