US cities along the border with Mexico are among the safest in the country, according to figures from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that contradict the Trump Administration’s repeated preaching of crime and violence in the region with a high population of immigrants.
“The level of crime in US border cities is even lower when Mexican sister cities are among the most dangerous in North America,” says an analysis by the Axios platform based on FBI statistics for 2019.
Analysis of crime data in 11 border communities found that those cities had a combined violent crime rate of 338.5 per 100,000 residents, compared to 366.7 / 100,000 nationally in the same period.
In his annual report to Congress in 2019, President Donald Trump asserted that “the absence of law on our southern border is a threat to public order, safety, and the financial well-being of all Americans.”
The Axios report noted that “from Brownsville in Texas to San Diego in California, safe border cities have predominantly Hispanic populations and poverty rates above the national average.”
The article stated that the cities of Memphis (Tennessee), Dallas (Texas), Lima (Ohio), Kansas City (Kansas), St. Petersburg (Florida), Erie (Pennsylvania), Sioux Fall (South Dakota), and Covington (Kentucky), all of them far from the Mexican border, have higher property crime and violent crime rates than eight border cities.
For comparison, Axios looked at the property crime and violent crime statistics in Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo and Del Rio (Texas), Yuma (Arizona), and San Diego and Calexico (California). The article gave as an example the city of McAllen, in Texas, with 145,000 inhabitants and a violent crime rate of 96.6 / 100,000 while Kansas City, with 153,000 inhabitants, had a violent crime rate of 707.5 / 100,000, according to the Office of Investigation from Kansas.
“Everyone looks down on us as a dusty little town on the border and the media shows pictures of the wall and detention centers,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling was quoted as saying by Axios. “That is not all reality.”
The article also quoted the Mayor of Nogales, Arizona, Arturo Garino, a retired police officer and Vietnam War veteran, according to which “there has always been security here: we leave our doors unlocked at night, we are not concerned about home invasions or shootings, like up north.”
On the other hand, Axios indicated that the increase in the presence of federal police agencies registered in the border region over the last two decades “may have played a role in reducing crime.” Federal agencies are one of the largest employers in border cities and, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Latinos make up 33% of its 63,900 employees.