Former Senator Dave Durenburger's commentary about reforming health care made mention of El Paso, Texas, and its relatively low costs compared to other parts of the country. It reminded my of this post, which was still sitting in my hopper.
From Reason magazine:
A city of illegal immigrants with easy access to guns, just across the river from a metropolis ripped apart by brutal drug war violence. Should be a bloodbath, right?
Many criminologists say El Paso isn't safe despite its high proportion of immigrants, it's safe because of them.
"If you want to find a safe city, first determine the size of the immigrant population," says Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. "If the immigrant community represents a large proportion of the population, you're likely in one of the country's safer cities. San Diego, Laredo, El Paso—these cities are teeming with immigrants, and they're some of the safest places in the country."
Rates of crime and conviction for undocumented immigrants are far below those for the native born, and according to social scientists, that's not surprising. It's the general pattern with immigrant groups throughout history.
"Overall, immigrants have a stake in this country, and they recognize it," Northeastern University's Levin says. "They're really an exceptional sort of American. They come here having left their family and friends back home. They come at some cost to themselves in terms of security and social relationships. They are extremely success-oriented, and adjust very well to the competitive circumstances in the United States."