DES MOINES, Iowa --Triple murder suspect Marvin Escobar-Orellana claims that he defended himself from 29 year- old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez after she had killed her children, 11 year-old daughter Grecia and five year-old Ever. Police say ballistics and witness testimony both show he killed all three.
According to immigration documents this would be the third time Escobar-Orellana has been in the country illegally. Iowa Congressman Steve King has blamed the deaths on U.S. immigration policy.
“A mother, an 11 year-old girl, and a five year-old boy would be alive today if we didn't have sanctuary policies and if we enforced immigration laws evenly and steadily across the board,” said King.
Congressman King also said “There are thousands of graves across this countryside that are there because we didn’t enforce immigration law. If they are unlawfully present in America, and we enforce the law, they are not there to kill Americans or any of God’s children that would exist here in the United States.”
While researches say it's a fact that undocumented immigrants in this country have committed violent crimes, it's more complicated than that. Michael Light, a sociology professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the crime rate among undocumented immigrants using data collected in Texas.
“What you can do then with that data is calculate the crime rate for native-born Texans, undocumented Texans, and then legal immigrants. In general, what they find is undocumented immigrants tend to have lower rates of crime compared to native born Texans and this is true for violent crimes such as homicide and it's also true for property crimes such as larceny,” said Light.
Light offers an analogy. He says it's a statistical fact that women have committed less violent crimes than men, but women still commit nearly 1,000 homicides per year.
“That same logic holds that if there weren't women then obviously these homicides wouldn't have occurred. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that we remove women, then the violent crime rate would be the violent crime rate amongst men which would be substantially higher. In other words, even though nearly 1,000 homicides in a year, give or take, that doesn't mean that removing them would make us safer, in fact it's the exact opposite,” says light.
Light says there are two theories as to why the rate of crime is lower among undocumented immigrants. One, is that the threat of being deported is more of a deterrent than the threat of jail time. The other is that those who come to the United States aren't the types of people prone to violence.
“People are doing it for economic opportunities or educational opportunities for them or their families. Those types of qualities, things like motivation, hard work, those things aren’t highly correlated with having a high crime prone disposition,” said Light.