Not even the NY Times editors can bring themselves to pick up their pom poms and cheerlead for Obama's latest Obama 2012 posturing on immigration reform:
President Obama at the Border
President Obama went to the border in El Paso on Tuesday and delivered a speech on immigration reform. He didn’t present a bill or issue any executive orders or set deadlines for action. Aides say his goal was to “create a pathway” and “a sense of urgency” to “move forward.” That is a start but not nearly enough.
Fortunately, they have a plan!
Mr. Obama’s description of the problem was accurate, and his prescription the right one: a “good-faith effort” by both parties to pass comprehensive measures that combine border security with assimilation, not mass expulsion, for illegal immigrants who qualify.
To move things forward, Mr. Obama will have to do a lot more. He needs to outline legislation, push Congressional leaders — including those in his own party — to back it and make the case repeatedly to Americans.
The president also needs to get his own policies in order. For all his talk of supporting the hopes of the undocumented, his administration has been doubling down on the failed strategy of mass expulsion. It is pressing state and local police to join in an ill-conceived program called Secure Communities, which sends arrested people’s fingerprints through federal immigration databases, turning all local officers and jails into arms of the Department of Homeland Security.
All of this tedious enforcement of our current laws has to end before we can move forward on amnesty and a whole new batch of empty promises on new enforcement - yup, that will sail through the House and Senate.
And also, despite a lot of breathless reports that have tagged places like El Paso as dangerous, violent crime in southwest border counties has dropped by a third.
Obama has said this sort of thing before, and I have never found a source for it. The Times did manage to claim that crime had fallen at the Arizona border, but they massaged that result by aggregating the much larger urban areas where crime has fallen with the smaller (by population) areas where crime in Arizona has been rising; the border in Arizona is non-urban.
The LA Times had this one year ago:
Despite the drug war that has claimed thousands of lives in Mexico, communities along the U.S. side of the 2,000-mile southern border have shown virtually no increase in crime for several years.
There are dozens of towns, counties and cities along the border and no single measure of crime along the whole frontier. But a review of crime statistics for the largest communities and interviews with law enforcement officials from Texas to California show that, despite a widespread perception that the violence in Mexico has spread north, U.S. border communities are fairly secure. Some have even become safer.
Crime is flat and some towns have become safer (suggesting that some have not). That is not consistent with Obama's claim that violent crime is down "by a third". Of course, Obama does not provide a time period for his claim, btu this is interesting - in January 2011 Janet Napolitano claimed that
FBI crime statistics  show violent crime rates in Southwest border counties are down 30 percent over the past two decades and are currently "among the lowest in the nation."
Hmm - she may be right, in a very special way. Here is a study of the southwest border counties claiming that from 1990, violent crime is down 29%. But this study covers the period from 1990 to 2000! If both Napalitono and this study are correct, crime fell another 1% from 2000 to 2008 (which I think was the last avaliable FBI stats as of Jan 2011) - not exactly a crime wave, but not exactly mirroring the nationwide decline in violent crime, either.