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HomeNewsPoliticsViolent Crime in San Francisco Booming Since 2011, Alongside Immigration

Violent Crime in San Francisco Booming Since 2011, Alongside Immigration


Are Illegal Immigrants Driving Increase in Violent Crime Rates?


Kate Steinle, left, was a 32-year-old woman from San Francisco who was shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant with 7 felony convictions.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the 45-year-old illegal alien who confessed to shooting 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a pier in San Francisco, had an extensive criminal history and was deported at least 5 times prior to being charged with murder by city officials. With Sanchez admitting he chose the Bay area because he knew it was a sanctuary city, there has been national outrage in response to Ms. Steinle’s murder, with many claiming sanctuary cities across the nation are being besieged by violent crime committed by illegal immigrants.

“The cold truth is Kate Steinle is collateral damage to the insane far-left politics that have long corrupted the city by the bay,” said Bill O’Reilly, who has been a leading voice against sanctuary cities in the wake of the murder. “Again, dangerous people are walking around because of political correctness.”

O’Reilly is pushing hard for “Kate’s Law,” which would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years on any illegal immigrant with a criminal record caught in the country after being deported. “The mayor and the supervisors want to seem sympathetic to illegal aliens,” O’Reilly added. “That’s what this is all about — them and their liberal profile. The whole thing is absolutely disgusting.”

Proponents of sanctuary cities and even open borders have cited–over and over–a Pew Research Center study that concludes illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the native population. However, at least in the case of San Francisco and greater California, research conducted by PPD suggests those claims are highly problematic for several reasons.

For instance, arrests for violent crimes in San Francisco have skyrocketed over the past four years, according to records from the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department. This concerning trend in arrests for the most violent of the crimes listed below–murder and rape–has correlated with both an increase in the immigrant population and a series of policy changes aimed at skewing the data on violent crime committed by illegal aliens.

Records obtained by Judicial Watch and shared with PPD as a result of a July 9, 2015, California Public Records Act request detailed violations of the following crimes:

187 Penal Code

(1st & 2nd Degree Murder) 

240 Penal Code

(Simple Assault) 

243 Penal Code


261 Penal Code
































“These numbers reflect the number of charges for arrests and bookings (not just arrests),” said Bay area Sheriff’s Department Assistant Legal Counsel Mark Nicco.

Note the increase in crime from 2013 to 2014, and the decrease in 2014 to 2015. In fact,  the overall arrest rate has plunged by 42 percent according to Max Szabo, a spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. This is where the data starts to fail the smell test. In 2013, the city announced it would disobey federal law, and passed an ordinance that required San Francisco law enforcement to ignore most U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers. The release–NO IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT DETAINERS–reads as follows:

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi announces that effective immediately; The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department will no longer honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers unless they are supported by judicial determination of probable cause or with a warrant of arrest. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Ross Mirkarimi advocated for separation of the local criminal justice system from the immigration enforcement system. As Sheriff, he strategically advanced department policy to reflect this belief.

These detainers, which the city began to ignore just months before the rates began to decrease, required San Francisco authorities to hold detained illegal alien criminals until federal authorities could determine whether to take them into custody. As a result, and by the department’s own admission, the policy reduced the number of individuals released to ICE authorities by 62 percent.

“Citizens understand that when San Francisco and other sanctuary cities release illegal alien criminals onto the streets, crime is going to increase,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These new crime statistics suggest that there are more murders and an epidemic of rape linked to San Francisco’s releasing illegal alien criminals in violation of law.”

Admittedly, because of officials are intentionally withholding the immigration status of persons arrested, it is difficult to establish a direct causation between increased crime and increased immigration. “This information is not tracked by the Jail Management System,” Nicco admitted.

However, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan policy think-tank that examined data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Hispanics represent a whopping 42% of offenders, higher than the 38.4% represented statewide according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau stats, and far higher than the near-16% in the Bay area. With other data sets, we can winnow down the list of potential demographics responsible for current crime rates, though it is nearly impossible to get an accurate proportional representation.

With city officials statewide ignoring ICE detainers, the number of repeat offenses by illegal immigrants unsurprisingly increased. Coincidentally, since public safety realignment began statewide in 2011, second striker commitments have increased from 8,992 to 10,267, and these inmates now represent 26% serving a sentence, up from 16% by midyear 2013.

But what about the claim that net immigration has been zero. That, too, is simply untrue, but because officials are not keeping the same records for the illegal immigrant population that they keep on all other groups, the real numbers are both underestimated by government agencies and extremely difficult to undercover.

Difficult, but not impossible.

A new analysis of monthly Census Bureau data by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit a record high of 42.1 million in the second quarter of this year — an increase of 1.7 million since the same quarter of 2014. The monthly Census Bureau data, referred to as the Current Population Survey (CPS), found the nation’s immigrant grew by 4.1 million from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2015. Those gains, by far, are vastly driven by Mexican immigrants.

Growth in the immigrant population in the last year was led by a 740,000 increase in the number of Mexican immigrants. While activists such as Univision anchor Jorge Ramos repeatedly claim otherwise, after slowing down or even falling in recent years, the number of Mexican immigrants again is growing significantly. The total Mexican immigrant population reached 12.1 million in the second quarter of 2015, which is the highest quarterly total ever an almost certainly underestimates the real figure when considering estimates of the illegal immigrant population from DHS and Pew.


Table 5 reports estimates of the illegal immigrant population from DHS, the Pew Research Center, and the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) compared to the total immigrant population in the second quarter of the same year. In addition to Mexico, growth in the immigrant population was led by a 449,000 increase in the number of immigrants from other Latin American countries in the last year. Again, this does not support the claims made by Ramos and other open borders activists.

Whether or not the correlation between crime and immigration is strong enough, is for the reader to decide. But polls clearly show Americans don’t buy the “official” numbers, either.

“Most voters expect biased media coverage of the 2016 presidential race, and the media response to recent immigration comments by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a good case in point,” says Fran Coombs, the managing editor of Rasmussen Reports. A recent survey by Rasmussen found 53 percent of all voters agree that illegal immigration increases the level of serious crime in America.

Further, voters (62%) want the Justice Department to get tough on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws, with 50% saying that ending all federal funding would have a big impact on the flow of illegals into this country. The same number say strong penalties against U.S. employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants would reduce future illegal immigration a lot.

“We are so sorry our leaders are vial and corrupt,” read a note on Ms. Steinle’s memorial at the spot on Pier 14 where see was unnecessarily gunned down. “We cherish your life and memory.”

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People's Pundit Daily delivers reader-funded data journalism covering the latest news in politics, polls, elections, business, the economy and markets.

Latest comment

  • This seems to be a rather dishonest report. Yes, the murder rate is 55% higher than last year; however, it’s down drastically from 2010! San Francisco used to average 95-120 murders a year. 2011-2014 recorded lower murder rates than had been seen in over 50 years, about 45 murders! This has to do with nationwide economic trends, not with illegal immigration. Also, Latinos only make up 20% of San Francisco’s population, as opposed to 42% for the state of California as a whole! San Francisco has a much larger Asian population, which is unique among Californian cities! PROPERTY CRIME has shot up to levels not seen in 10 years! However, that has to do with the growing gap between rich and poor! San Francisco ranks #2 in income inequality since the tech boom has left the suburbs for the city. You now have very rich people. not living near very poor people, but often times on the exact same blocks! The middle class has all but vanished! That is why car break-ins have become an epidemic! Violent crime is still relatively low compared to years past.

    Sorry, but this was a rather deceiving article which blames a multi-dimensional problem on one factor, which isn’t even the biggest nor most important factor.

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