U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the nation’s safest, with some border cities reporting crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show. Crime data from 2019 contradict the narrative by President Donald Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a “lawless” region suffering from violence and mayhem, Axios reports. Crime in U.S. border cities is low even though sister cities in Mexico are among the most dangerous in North America because of cartel violence. From Brownsville, Tx.,to San Diego, safe border cities have majority-Hispanic populations and poverty rates above the national average.
An analysis of crime data from 11 border communities found the cities had combined a violent crime rate (per 100,000 residents) of 338.5. The FBI says the estimated rate nationally was 366.7 for the same time period. Some border towns had much lower rates than non-border cities of their same size and similar income demographics. McAllen, Tx., a city of 145,000, had a violent crime rate of 96.6, while Kansas City, Ks., a city of 153,000, had a violent crime rate of 705.7,. El Paso, Tx., a city of 687,000, saw a violent crime rate of 353.7. Memphis, with a slightly smaller population, posted a violent crime rate of 1,901.4. All 11 border cities had a lower violent crime rate than Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That midwestern city had a rate of 483.2. Trump said in his 2019 State of the Union address: “The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.”