Latino Immigration in Nevada is Not What It Appears
Nevada's Dean Heller remains
concerned about Donald Trump's executive order banning travel.
The Republican senator shared his concerns that the president's
order is overly broad and is not the way to strengthen national security.
The Trump White House would have people believe that Latino
immigrants bring drugs and crime into America and are rapists. Sixteen percent of Americans consider Hispanic immigrants are "undesirables"
according to an ABC News
Comments by Trump and those who parrot him have pushed a volatile
dispute about immigration policy. It's a discussion proving particularly
pressing in Nevada where comments about immigrants have struck a nerve
among many in the state's Latino community.
What is the truth? It's not Trump's characterization. Immigrants
aren't any more inclined to commit crimes than U.S. citizens.
Latin American immigration helped stoke the need for labor during
the construction rush in the early 2000s. Immigration rose until the recession
hit when residential construction collapsed and immigration slipped. The number
of undocumented immigrants in Nevada shrunk in just two years -- 2008 through
2010 -- by 40,000.
Replicated studies show immigration lead to a criminal decrease.
"If you take the president literally, you don't want to see
people with no criminal convictions deported," said Taylor Barton,
owner of 24/7 Bail Bonds in Las
While data indicates the share of criminals in the population
deported has increased, the increase is not attributed to more crime committed
by immigrants, but to immigration enforcement priorities.
Experts claim this has led to a major misperception about
immigrants: immigrants increase crime in the neighborhoods where they live.
A current statement from the American Immigration Council indicates
that immigrants, both undocumented and documented, are less apt to perpetrate
serious crimes and be behind bars than those born in America. While the share
of immigrants in the American population increased from 1990 to 2013, FBI
records show violent crime rates and property crime fell by almost 50%.
Substantial Latino Population
Nevada's Latino population is growing. Over 26% of Nevada's 2.8
million residents are Latino in contrast to Florida where Mexicans make up 15%
of the Latino population. Mexicans comprise over 75% of the Latino
population in Nevada.
The Latino population has grown over the last ten years — and grown a lot. In 2000, the Latino population was just shy of 250%. Now it's over 26^.
Extra Congressional Seat
Latinos make up 46% of Nevada's overall growth in population. The growth helped the state collect an extra congressional seat following the 2010 census.
More than 225,000 eligible Hispanic voters live in Nevada — 14% of all the state's eligible voters.
Latino voting trends favor Democrats, and the feels grew between 2004 and 2008 when John Kerry won the Latino vote with 60%.
Immigration reform received strong support across demographic
lines: Two-thirds of all voters said undocumented immigrants should be allowed
to remain in the nation and become citizens.
Nevada's immigrants contributed over $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue. Even without a state income tax, unauthorized immigrants put $133 million into Nevada through state and local taxes in 2010.
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