MCALLEN, Texas – Communities along the U.S.-Mexico border are among the safest in the country, according to the latest crime reports published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Working off the data, Axios compared eight cities along the border with eight cities of a comparable size in other parts of the United States. The cities of Brownsville, Yuma, San Diego, El Paso, Laredo, Calexico, Del Rio and McAllen were safer than those of their counterparts inland. Their crime rates were well below the national average.

AdvisorSmith also examined the FBI’s crime reports. The group found that among large cities in Texas, McAllen was the 11th safest to live in, with El Paso 12th, Laredo 13th, and Edinburg 19th. Among small cities, Santa Rosa was third safest, and Rancho Viejo 16th safest.

In the Axios story, reporter Russell Contreras wrote: “The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a “lawless” region suffering from violence and mayhem.”

Contreras’ story said: “Crime in U.S. border cities remains low even though sister cities in Mexico are among the most dangerous in North America because of cartel violence. From Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, safe border cities have majority-Hispanic populations and poverty rates above the national average.”

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling is quoted in the Axios story. He told the news organization that McAllen has seen crime fall for 31 years in a row. “Everyone just dismisses us a dusty little border town and media show images of the wall and detention centers. That’s not the whole picture,” Darling said.

Steve Ortega,a lobbyist and an El Paso attorney,is also quoted in the Axios story. He said calling El Paso dangerous is tantamount to “race-baiting.”

In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump said: “The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.”

Brenda Franco, public relations specialist for AdvisorSmith said her group’s study analyzed violent and property crimes from 39 large cities, 198 midsize cities, and 418 small cities in the state. She said crime scores were calculated for each city and the cities were ranked to find the safest places in Texas.

“We discovered that McAllen had a total crime score of 43.5, which was well below the average of 69.1 in large Texas cities with over 100,000 residents,” Franco said.

“McAllen’s violent crime rate was 13 per 1000 residents, compared with an average of 17.5 per 1,000 in large Texas cities. The city’s property crime rate was 24.8 per 1,000 residents. Statewide, the average property crime rate in large cities was 27.3 per 1,000.”

McAllen had a crime score of 43.6.

El Paso came in 12th in the safest large Texas cities category. Violent crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 12.6. Property crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 15.1, and the crime score was 47.3.

Laredo came in 13th in the safest large Texas cities category. Violent crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 14.0. Property crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 17.7, and the crime score was 49.1.

Edinburg came in 13th in the safest large Texas cities category. Violent crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 15.5. Property crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 29.3, and the crime score was 61.1.

In the small cities category, Santa Rosa came in 3rd in Texas. Violent crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 2.6. Property crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 3.9. Its crime score was 6.5.

Another small city, Rancho Viejo came in 16th safest. Violent crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 3.6. Property crimes per 1,000 residents stood at 4.2. Its crime score was 10.9.

“In this report, AdvisorSmith examined crime reports published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to understand which cities in Texas have the lowest levels of reported crime on a per capita basis, said AdvisorSmith analyst Adrian Mak.

“We applied a proprietary methodology to score the crime levels in cities across the state that takes into account the level of reported crimes, as well as the relative severity of crimes in each city.”

Mak said this crime score placed higher weight on more serious crimes like murder and rape, while assigning a lower weighting to property crimes.

“We found that the average crime score for Texas cities was 48, and scores ranged from 6 up to 371,” Mak said.

“We studied a total of 655 cities in the states of Texas, which were segmented into small, midsize, and large categories based upon population.”

Small cities were those with under 10,000 residents. Midsize cities had between 10,000 and 100,000 residents, and large cities had over 100,000 residents. There were a total of 39 large cities, 198 midsize cities, and 418 small cities included in this analysis.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read the AdvisorSmith study.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows the McAllen Convention Center district.


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