That is not true, as FBI crime numbers show. Actually, the cities on or near the U.S./Mexico border are some of the safest cities in the country.
The following is an editorial from the El Paso Times:
The FBI reported this week that violent crime increased by 4 percent nationally between 2014 and 2015, driven in large part by increases in gun violence in some major U.S. cities.
One area that defied this trend, without any real attention, was urban areas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Violent crime in U.S. urban areas on the Mexican border declined by 7 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to an El Paso Times analysis of the FBI data, which is based on reports provided by local law enforcement agencies across the country.
This is not a new development. Crime rates in U.S. communities along the Mexican border have been lower than comparable cities away from the border for many years. But that fact is usually drowned out by politically driven rhetoric that paints the border as a war zone.
Violent crime in El Paso, long among the safest of major U.S. cities, declined by almost 7 percent. In Las Cruces, violent crime dropped by more than 9 percent.
Texas officials may try to tie the drop in crime to the so-called “border surge” started in 2014 after families and children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America flooded to the Rio Grande Valley in search of safety.
Any such claims would be questionable at best. First, crime in border areas has been on the decline for many years before the so-called surge. Second, the drop in violent crime is just as pronounced in places like El Paso, Las Cruces, and Yuma, Arizona, which did not see an increase in National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in 2015.
The low and declining crime rates along the border have many causes. Research has shown that immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to participate in crime. And the federal government has dramatically increased the numbers of law enforcement forces it has placed on the border in the past decade.
That latter fact is often ignored in conservative circles, where it is an article of faith that the Obama administration has failed to secure the border. This has been particularly true in Texas, where DPS is proposing another 39 percent increase in funding for border security, even though the agency has provided no real data showing that its increased spending is having any impact.
While the Republican-dominated state leadership was posturing on border security during the 2015 legislative session, Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs like Carrolton, Grapevine and Frisco were undergoing double-digit increases in violent crime. In Lubbock, violent crime went up 12 percent.
This is not to suggest that the DPS flood troopers into the Metroplex or to Texas Tech. But the latest national crime statistics are yet another reminder of how skewed rhetoric can lead to misguided policy. A decision to direct law-enforcement resources to the border is, by definition, a decision not to place those resources elsewhere.
The latest crime statistics are yet another reminder that political rhetoric about the U.S.-Mexico border bears little resemblance to reality.
(The caricature above of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)