There's something missing from the European immigrant crime wave narrative

A recent piece in the New York Times describes a disturbing trend in Sweden --- weapons of war, including hand grenades and AK-47s, have been flowing into immigrant-heavy neighborhoods.

An article in The Spectator sketches Swedish streets as immigration-fueled warzones: Dutch exchange student killed by a stray bullet during an execution-style murder at a pizzeria; an uptick in gun violence; a deluge of hand grenade attacks in areas comprised mainly of immigrants. Paramedics and firefighters allegedly can’t enter certain neighborhoods without heavily armed police escorts.

The author, Paulina Neuding, laments that a rising tide of violence is “what happens when you fail to integrate immigrants and instead tolerate the creation of a society within a society.” It’s not clear that violent crime is soaring, as the title of her piece declares.

Tino Sanandaji points out, in National Review, that some types of crime have gone up in Sweden (gang shooting, arson and sexual assault), while others have decreased (assault, car thefts and property crimes). These changes track fairly well with international trends.

Nonetheless, Neuding is probably onto something. The Scandinavian country has substantially increased its share of non-Western immigrants and asylum seekers in recent years, and we cannot fully dismiss the anecdotal evidence of flare-ups in immigrant communities.

Sanandaji wrote an earlier piece exploring the potential causes of the 2013 Stockholm riots, in which schools, cultural centers and well over 100 cars were torched in the predominantly immigrant suburb of Husby.

He ultimately points to the Swedish government’s generosity as the culprit. The robust social safety net in Sweden, from which immigrants pull more than their native-born neighbors, creates a “welfare trap.” But the economic disincentive to work is only half the story for Sanandaji. He also criticizes Swedish political elites for espousing multiculturalism, which encourages non-European implants to cling to their own customs, values and habits.

A 2003 study found immigrants in Sweden were more likely to use welfare services than natives.

He’s more or less right in his observations. A 2003 study found immigrants in Sweden were more likely to use welfare services than natives. And various “multicultural” policies from European policymakers have had adverse effects on assimilation.

Both authors appear to be correct on their assessments of poor integration, as well. A 2015 analysis of 27 different indicators of immigrant integration across EU and OECD nations found substantial problems with immigrant assimilation in Europe, particularly for non-European immigrants, while the findings for the United States were positive. In America, immigrants are overwhelmingly patriotic and draw fewer welfare benefits than their native counterparts. Importantly, American immigrants tend to commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens.

Are America’s integration successes linked to a more prudent welfare allowance for immigrants and government policies, which encourage adoption of Western norms and values? That’s likely part of it, but Sanandaji’s causal story lacks a critical link.

Swedish immigrants aren’t just avoiding work because they’d rather fall back on cushy government benefits. An analysis of Europe’s assimilation of Muslim immigrants relative to the United States revealed that it’s much more difficult to find work as an immigrant in Europe than in America.

In the United States, immigrants have a lower unemployment rate than natives. Conversely, most European countries show a significantly higher unemployment rate for immigrants, particularly for non-EU migrants. Unemployment among foreign-born men in Sweden is over 16 percent compared to less than seven percent native-born men, and foreign-born women face a 15 percent unemployment rate compared to six percent for native-born women. These disparities are significantly worse for African and Asian immigrants.

A variety of labor controls, including minimum wages, collective bargaining and severe legal liability for firing employees have made it expensive for Swedish employers to hire new workers. The labyrinth of regulations have been crushing employment opportunities for immigrants (particularly Muslim immigrants) and their children for decades. That these same people seem content to collect a government check makes more sense in light of their employment plight.

Meanwhile, the United States is the least regulated labor market among the developed countries analyzed in the Cato report. American labor markets are much less rigid than their European counterparts and thus significantly less likely to disadvantage immigrants in employment, Muslim or otherwise. This helps to explain the higher employment of immigrants in the U.S. labor market. Cato’s analysis concludes that “European labor market controls and regulations explain the differences between American and European outcomes.”

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for solving Sweden’s problem.

These findings are necessary in any conversation on this topic, because a vast body of research suggests that employment is strongly associated with crime avoidance, as is unemployment with criminal activity. Unsurprisingly, one study found that “we can in general explain between 50% and 80% of the gap in crimes between children of immigrants and children with a native-Swedish background with family resources (e.g. employment and education) and neighborhood segregation.”

Having a job facilitates the development of meaningful relationships with other citizens, increases skills and language proficiency, boosts self-esteem, and offers hope for the future. This is as true for native-born citizens as it is for immigrants. Any conversation about immigrant crime in Europe that leaves out employment, then, is incomplete.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for solving Sweden’s problem. Integration is a gradual process and immigrant enclaves have formed over decades. Still, it’s nothing short of a fool’s errand to greet newcomers with a maze of obstacles to employment, materially incentivize them to stay home in the likely event that they can’t find work, and expect them to become flag-flying patriots.

Our European friends are typically skeptical of anything that smacks of Americanism, but they would benefit from occasionally copying our notes. Until that happens, much of the ongoing anxiety regarding immigration-related crime will persist. But both research and experience tell us the first step should be letting immigrants get jobs.

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Jonathan Haggerty is a justice policy analyst at R Street Institute and a Young Voices Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @JHaggrid.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld joined Glenn on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to talk about his new book, "The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help."

Greg admits he is probably the last person who should write a self-help book. Nevertheless, he offers his offbeat advice on how to save America during what has become one of the most tumultuous times in history, as well as drinking while tweeting (spoiler: don't do it).

He also shares his "evolution" on President Donald Trump, his prediction for the election, and what it means to be an agnostic-atheist.

In this clip, Greg shares what he calls his "first great epiphany" on how dangerous cancel culture has become.

"I believe that cancel culture is the first successful work-around of the First Amendment," he said. "Because freedom of speech doesn't protect me from my career being ruined, my livelihood being destroyed, or me getting so depressed I commit suicide. Cancel culture is the first successful work-around of freedom of speech. It can oppress your speech with the scepter of destruction. We don't have freedom of speech anymore."

Watch the video clip below or find the full Glenn Beck Podcast with Greg Gutfeld here.

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Dr. Simone Gold joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to set the record straight about hydroxychloroquine -- what it is, how it works, and the real reason for all the current controversy surrounding a centuries-old medication.

Dr. Gold is a board certified emergency physician. She graduated from Chicago Medical School before attending Stanford University Law School. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, and worked in Washington D.C. for the Surgeon General, as well for the chairman of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. She works as an emergency physician on the front lines, whether or not there is a pandemic, and her clinical work serves all Americans from urban inner city to suburban and the Native American population. Her legal practice focuses on policy issues relating to law and medicine.

She is also the founder of America's frontline doctors, a group of doctors who have been under attack this week for speaking out about hydroxychloroquine during a news conference held outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

On the program, Dr. Gold emphasized that the controversy over hydroxychloroquine is a "complete myth."

"Hydroxychloroquine is an analogue or a derivative of quinine, which is found in tree bark. It's the most noncontroversial of medications that there is," she explained.

"It's been around for centuries and it's been FDA-approved in the modern version, called hydroxychloroquine, for 65 years. In all of that time, [doctors] used it for breast-feeding women, pregnant women, elderly, children, and immune compromised. The typical use is for years or even decades because we give it mostly to RA, rheumatoid arthritis patients and lupus patients who need to be on it, essentially, all of their life. So, we have extensive experience with it ... it's one of the most commonly used medications throughout the world."

Dr. Gold told Glenn she was surprised when the media suddenly "vomited all over hydroxychloroquine", but initially chalked it up to the left's predictable hatred for anything President Donald Trump endorses. However, when the media gave the drug Remdesivir glowing reviews, despite disappointing clinical trial results, she decided to do some research.

"[Remdesivir] certainly wasn't a fabulous drug, but the media coverage was all about how fabulous it was. At that moment, I thought that was really weird. Because it's one thing to hate hydroxychloroquine because the president [endorsed] it. But it's another thing to give a free pass to another medicine that doesn't seem that great. I thought that was really weird, so I started looking into it. And let me tell you, what I discovered was absolutely shocking," she said.

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According to the mainstream media's COVID-19 narrative, the president is "ignoring" the crisis.

On tonight's "Glenn TV" special, Glenn Beck exposes the media's last four months of political theater that has helped shape America's confusion and fear over coronavirus. And now, with a new school year looming on the horizon, the ongoing hysteria has enormous ramifications for our children, but the media is working overtime to paint the Trump administration as anti-science Neanderthals who want to send children and teachers off to die by reopening schools.

Glenn fights back with the facts and interviews the medical doctor Big Tech fears the most. Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, stands up to the media's smear campaign and explains why she could no longer stay silent in her fight against coronavirus fear.

Watch a preview below:


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It's high time to leave the partisan politics behind and focus on the facts about face masks and whether or not they really work against COVID-19.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck spoke with Drs. Scott Jensen and George Rutherford about the scientific evidence that proves or disproves the effectiveness of mask wearing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Then, Dr. Karyln Borysenko joined to break down where the massive political divide over masks came from in the first place.

"I think if we were to talk about this a couple months ago, I might have said, 'Well, there's the science of masks, and there's the emotions of masks.' But, unfortunately, there's something in between," Jensen said. "I would have thought that the science of masks would have to do with the physics of masks, so I did a video a couple months ago where I talked about the pore side of a cotton mask or a surgical mask."

He explained that properly worn masks can help reduce the spread of virus particles, but cautioned against a false-sense of security when wearing a mask because they are far from providing complete protection.

"If you have a triple-ply mask, the pore size will end up being effectively five microns. And five microns, to a COVID-19 virus particle, is 50 times larger. That's approximately the same differential between the two-inch separation between the wires of a chain-link fence, and a gnat," Jensen explained.

"But now what we're seeing is if we have some collision of COVID-19 viral particles with the latticework of any mask ... if you're breathing out or breathing in and the viral particles collide with the actual latticework of a mask, I think intuitively, yes, we can reduce the amount of virus particles that are going back and forth."

Dr. Rutherford said masks are essential tools for fighting COVID-19, as long as you wear them correctly. He laid out the three main reasons he believes we should all be wearing masks.

"So, we're trying to do three things," he said. "First of all, we're trying to protect the people around you, in case you are one of the 60% of people who have asymptomatic infection and don't know it. The second thing we're trying to do is to protect you. The third thing we're trying to do is, if you get infected, you'll get infected at a lower dose, and then you're less likely to develop symptoms. That's the threefer."

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