Factcheck: border wall stopped the crime in El Paso or not?

25 Jan America breathed a sigh of relief (at least at the time): the leaders of Congress and Donald trump has agreed to open the government until February 15.

Journalists, the President said that the next 3 weeks the White house and lawmakers will discuss ways to protect the border with Mexico. The trump stressed steel barrier (read: wall) is a mandatory budget item, without which the security of the southern border, but of the whole country impossible.

As an example of the effectiveness of the border fence the US President brought the wall in El Paso. According to him, after there was a wall along the border with Mexico, El Paso from “one of the most dangerous cities in the country for one night has become one of the safest”.

We tried to figure out whether the steel barrier gave such a dramatic effect.

The crime rate in El Paso

Long time El Paso (686 inhabitants) remained relatively safe town, despite the fact that is across the river from its Mexican sister city of Ciudad Juarez — one of the most dangerous cities not only in Mexico but throughout the world.

According to the unified crime reports (Uniform Crime Reports) the FBI, violent crime in El Paso has historically been significantly lower than in Metropolitan areas of Texas such as Houston, Dallas and Fort worth, and in cities with a population of 500 thousand people across the country.

The peak crime in El Paso and throughout the United States, reached in 1993. Then the number of violent crimes in the city rose to 1 of 101.7 per 100 thousand population. In subsequent years, this dismal performance began to decline. Again — across the country.

Operation Hold the Line

In September 1993, when the US President was bill Clinton, Border-customs service launched operation Hold the Line (from the English. “hold the Fort” or “ranks”). Agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) round the clock kept watch along the border in El Paso — “close enough to each other to keep eye contact”. No new boom here is not built just “patched” dozens of holes in the wire mesh that separated the Central areas of El Paso from Ciudad Juarez.

Wire mesh in El Paso. Source: flickr

According to data from CBP, the number of arrests for the year was reduced by more than 70% — from 285 thousand in 1993 to 79 thousand in 1994. However, a study of the University of Texas showed that Hold the Line has induced many labor migrants to travel long distances to areas where you could try to cross the border. As a result, more people were killed in more dangerous areas. The same illegals who are still able to get to the U.S., remained in the country for a longer period.

The statement [trump] is not supported by the available data, “said Professor Trinity University in San Antonio (TX) David Spener. According to him, the petty crime in El Paso has really become less, the number of serious crimes, the wall marked had no influence. In addition, Hold the Line was not an initiative it is for the construction of the wall, said Spener.

The idea was that, through a more judicious distribution of the Border guard service, the likelihood of detention increased almost 100% and people began to refrain even from attempting illegal entry [in the US], “confirms the opinion of colleagues Professor, Georgetown University Susan Martin, who at the time was the Executive Director of the US Commission on immigration reform.

The law on protection fence

On 10 January this year at a round table on border security in McAllen (TX), which was attended by President trump, the attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton stated that the border fence, built by George W. Bush, has turned El Paso, where he was a terrible crime, one of the safest cities in the country.

As the Congress of the rating of the crimein 2008 (a year before the beginning of the construction boom) El Paso held in the United States 254-e the crime of the 385-year. The most dangerous city in the country was then recognized as New Orleans. The rating was based on FBI data on murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and car theft in 2007.

In 2006, a law was passed about the construction of the metal barrier in El Paso and the surrounding area. Construction began in mid-2008 and ended in mid-2009. Boom turned in height from 15 to 18 ft (4.5–5.5 m) and a length of 57 miles (91 km). What effect does it give?

Wall in El Paso. Source: flickr

Crime reports of the FBI refute the assertion that the border wall has made El Paso one of the safest cities in the United States. On the contrary, for the period before and after the construction boom from 2007 to 2010, the level of violent crime here has increased by 5.5%. And from 2006 to 2011 (2 years before the beginning of the construction boom and 2 years after its completion) the number of serious crimes increased by about 9.6%.

A second opinion

To share the impressions of El Paso shared a Independent journalist David Osborn. He went after the press Secretary of the White house Sarah Sanders stated that the residents of the city confirmed: “the Wall works”. Here he writes about Osborn:

David Osborn, journalist Independent

What El Paso has one of the lowest crime rates among all cities in America, including homicide, which [here] is much lower than in St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit or New Orleans, causing local deep pride. This explains the excellent police work, growth of welfare, and also constructive relations between the authorities of neighboring cities“.

According to Osborne, no one in El Paso does not bind the city safe with the wall.

Long before it was built the border fence, in El Paso can boast some of the most prosperous statistical data on crimes in the whole country, — said the journalist John Barela, CEO of Borderplex Alliance, a group that promotes economic development on both sides of the border. — Our achievements in the field of public safety associated with our culture, our people and the tireless work of law enforcement officers“.

So, Donald trump and his administration may be as many speeches about the “vital” the wall similar to the one that stopped the crime in El Paso, but the facts suggest otherwise: a significant impact on the city’s barrier is not provided. So maybe the President should reconsider his claim and spend $5.7 billion, for example, medicine? 15 February — just around the corner.

Is it true that the border wall in El Paso stopped the crime in the city updated: February 6, 2019 author: Katerina Moskalets

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