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Some illuminating data

February 7, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

William Edwards Deming, an American quality pioneer, famously said, "In God we trust, all others bring data."

Using data, I describe why building a border wall is a political smoke screen designed to divert attention from much more serious problems affecting the United States. Donald Trump and the Republicans want you to think there is a huge crime problem with illegal immigrants.

Unauthorized immigrants compose 3.5 percent of the U.S. population. The Cato Institute reported in 2018 for all crimes, undocumented immigrants committed 56 percent less crime than native-born Americans. Legal immigrants committed 86 percent less crime than native-born Americans. Immigrants are not the main cause of crime.

There were 17,000 murders in the U.S .in 2017. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported 72,000 synthetic opioid overdose deaths in 2017. NHTSA reported 10,874 deaths from drunk driving crashes in 2017. Collectively, this is 99,874 deaths in 2017 or 273 deaths per day.

Purdue Pharma knowingly engineered opioids to be addictive to increase sales. Many drivers with long records of alcohol abuse continue to legally drive.

Considering these factual data, how could anyone possibly think that building a border wall is a national priority?

Paul Kiefner

Cape Coral



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