April 13 2017 12:03 AM

Neogen CEO promotes misleading ideas on undocumented immigrants

THURSDAY. April 13 — Neogen Corp. CEO James Herbert told the Lansing City Council last night that its sanctuary city declaration made his family and employees less safe.

“Why do our city, elected officials flaunt the laws that are intended to keep my family and our employees and others safe?” Herbert asked during a statement. Video can be seen here, with Herbert’s comments beginning the 45.22 mark.

The business leader was there to encourage the City Council to rescind an April 3 resolution that declared Lansing a sanctuary city. The Council rescinded the declaration on a 5-2 vote. Councilmembers Adam Hussain, Jody Washington, Patricia Spitzley, Judi Brown Clarke and Carol Wood cast their votes in favor of the rescind resolution while Councilmembers Tina Houghton and Kathie Dunbar voted against it. Councilmember Jessica Yorko was absent.

Spitzley, Brown Clarke and Wood reversed their votes from last week, although Spitzley had voted against the sanctuary city amendment to the resolution, but then joined the others to make the resolution unanimous after the amendment passed 5-1. Washington Hussain were absent.

For Herbert, the city’s failure to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries has resulted in an increase in criminal activity.

“Now, protection of criminal illegal aliens will likely bring more crime element to our city,” he declared.

The perception is counter to the reality. First, being in the country without permission is a civil infraction, not a criminal act, under federal law. To compare, speeding is a civil infraction. So, using Herbert’s (and others’) logic, anyone who has received a speeding ticket is a “criminal.” It’s untrue and it’s inaccurate.

But to the bigger question: Do sanctuary cities “bring more crime element”?

The answer, according FactCheck.org is no.

The organization cites a study by researchers at the University of California from October 2016. Researchers concluded: “Our findings provide evidence that sanctuary policies have no effect on crime rates, despite narratives to the contrary. The potential benefits of sanctuary cities, such as better incorporation of the undocumented community and cooperation with police, thus have little cost for the cities in question in terms of crime.”

In January, The New York Times reported undocumented immigrants were less likely to commit crimes.

Analyses of census data from 1980 through 2010 show that among men ages 18 to 49, immigrants were one-half to one-fifth as likely to be incarcerated as those born in the United States. Across all ages and sexes, about 7 percent of the nation’s population are noncitizens, while figures from the Justice Department show that about 5 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons are noncitizens.”