Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sutherland Gets Snarky

It's not often I agree with the Sutherland Institute. However, when it comes to SB 81 (2008), we stand on the same side.

And, well, I am a fan of snarkyness.

So it was with great pleasure when I read their response to State Representative Chris Herrod's comments on their Just the facts report.

From the Senate Site (who get a lot of credit in my book for posting this):

As background, our Just the Facts report was a follow-up to a study we presented to the Immigration Interim Committee in 2008 citing, among other things, current state prison-inmate data. At that time, some supporters of SB 81 countered our findings by arguing that better data on illegal-immigrant inmates would be found in the county jail system. Sutherland took them at their word and investigated the claim.

What we discovered was reported in Just the Facts. Not to their liking, opponents then argued, as Representative Herrod has in his memo, that the better data is actually “arrest data” (i.e., the idea that the court system keeps many undocumented immigrants out of state prison). The Sutherland staff is not new to this game. We have no doubt about the insistence of some proponents of SB 81 that endless and distant data sources would one day “prove” that, indeed, Utah is awash in a sea of brown criminals intent on subverting everything godly and virtuous. Even so, this game only proves boring.


Ethnicity data cannot reasonably be used to say anything useful about the crimes of undocumented immigrants for one simple fact: the vast majority of Hispanics living in Utah are not undocumented. Using data on Hispanic ethnicity to comment on the crime rate of undocumented immigrants is like using a data-marker of “Caucasian” to represent crimes committed by freckled red-heads. Further, in its most noxious form, it assumes that all Hispanics are undocumented, which is contrary to both fact and common sense.

That's it! Sutherland must be racist against red heads! That makes two things we agree on.....


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